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The Way They Were

Nonfiction: Biography
Unabridged   8.75 hour(s)
Publication date: 05/23/2023

The Way They Were

How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Digital Download ISBN:9781696612227


Coinciding with the fiftieth anniversary of The Way We Were, this intriguing and impeccably researched book is the first ever account of the making of the classic film starring Barbara Streisand and Robert Redford, revealing the full story behind its genesis and continued controversies, its many deleted scenes, its much-anticipated but never-filmed sequel, and the real-life romance that inspired this groundbreaking love story . . .

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Product Description

It's one of the greatest movie romances of all time. Yet the friction and controversy surrounding The Way We Were was so enormous, the movie was nearly never made at all.

Screenwriter Arthur Laurents wrote the role of Katie with Barbra Streisand in mind. Casting Hubbell was another matter. Robert Redford, already a superstar, was reluctant to play what he perceived as the "Ken doll" to Streisand's lead, and demanded his role be changed and expanded. Laurents resisted, telling director Sydney Pollack, "You'll ruin the movie if it ends up being about two people. It's Katie's story, not Hubbell's." Despite his protests, ten writers were brought on to rework the script.

Laurents's fears were well founded, and the first preview was disastrous. Producer Ray Stark and Pollack cut several scenes, upsetting Streisand and Laurents. Yet the edits worked. Such was the movie's success that Redford was open to making a sequel, though the script was never greenlit.

Drawing on Laurents's and Pollack's unpublished writings, as well as interviews with Streisand, Redford, and other key players, this is the definitive account of a film that changed the rules of moviemaking and defined romance ever since.


"Theater critic Hofler (Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne) delivers a spellbinding behind-the-scenes look at the seminal 1973 film The Way We Were. Hofler's prose sparkles, and he successfully blends histrionics with on-screen magic. The captivating result makes clear that the drama happening behind the camera can be just as gripping as what's in front of it." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Just in time for the film’s 50th anniversary, theater critic Hofler digs deep to find the drama that went on behind-the-scenes…This is a detailed and well-researched biography of a popular film that avid fans and film students will likely find fascinating." —Library Journal

Author Bio

Robert Hofler is the lead theater critic at TheWrap and author of bestselling, critically acclaimed biographies, including Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne; The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson; Party Animals; and the Lambda Literary Award–nominated Sexplosion. He lives in New York City.