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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Way We Were (1973)

A politically radical working class Jewish girl (Barbra Streisand) with strong opinions and a handsome conservative upper class wasp (Robert Redford) begin a romantic relationship that leads to marriage. But in spite of the love they have for each other, their very cores are so different that the relationship becomes volatile when their beliefs are challenged during the HUAC hearings. One of great romance movies of all time, Arthur Laurents' original script was just as political as it was romantic but slowly the political elements were watered down and the romantic relationship took center stage. I'm not so sure that was a bad thing. There are many fine books and documentaries about the HUAC and blacklist years available but very few intelligent adult romances as good as this one. Directed with a firm hand by Sydney Pollack, Streisand and Redford are so absolutely perfectly cast that it's downright spooky. It's a lovely and heartbreaking drama about two people that are so wrong for each other that they probably should never have been together in the first place. But the film's poignant bittersweet end resonates with all of us, who hasn't been there? The Oscar winning score is by Marvin Hamlisch and it's a beauty. With Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles, Patrick O'Neal, Viveca Lindfors, James Woods, Murray Hamilton, Allyn Ann McLerie, Sally Kirkland and Susan Blakely.

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