Archive of films The Way We Were / The Way We Were
1973, 118 min
Section: Out of the Past
Katie and Hubbell, charismatically portrayed by Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, have been destined for one another since college. Yet not even her great desire to live with the man she loves prevents Katie from speaking her political mind. Particularly since the era is inclined towards public spirit and socio-political commitment: the mounting tension of the 1930s, the Second World War, then the Cold War....
The wave of retro films was gradually diminishing when Pollack’s opus hit the cinemas. Many of them have been long forgotten, while the romantic drama tracing the relationship between Katie and Hubbell has become a perennial everyone will gladly watch again and again. It’s not just because the stellar leads are beautiful and vibrantly youthful; what’s important here is the director’s facility to go beyond the established traditions of the film’s altogether melodramatic genre. Firstly, Katie isn’t a forlorn little missy, but a smart vigorous left-wing activist with a head full of radical ideas which remain firmly embedded in her, even years later. Through her, political themes find their way into the film – almost three decades of social change in America, from the 1930s and WWII to McCarthyism and the 1950s. Yet their presence is never allowed to disturb the sombre undercurrents of the emotive tale of Katie’s great love for Hubbell, whose heart she won repeatedly, only to see her convictions once again drive him away.
About the director
Sydney Pollack (b. 1934, Lafayette, Indiana, USA – 2008, Los Angeles). He shot twenty films which together earned 40 Oscar nominations, many of these winning the award. As director he was himself nominated three times before receiving the statuette for Out of Africa (1985). A mention of his most famous titles – such as They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969), Jeremiah Johnson (1972), Three Days of the Condor (1975), Tootsie (1982) and The Firm (1993) – is proof enough that his mainstream fare certainly didn’t trust in average scripts; he always insisted upon psychological depth for his characters and the fitting evocation of period atmosphere. He worked with big stars and for major Hollywood studios but, as a director, he never allowed himself to be swayed by them, whatever the genre – comedies, political thrillers or romantic dramas.
About the film
|Section:||Out of the Past|
|Dir. of Photography:||Harry Stradling Jr.|
|Editor:||John F. Burnett|
|Cast:||Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles, Patrick O’Neal|
|Contact:||Park Circus Limited|