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  • The Way They Were

  • How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen
  • By: Robert Hofler
  • Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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The Way They Were cover art

The Way They Were

By: Robert Hofler
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
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Summary

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Drawing on Laurents's and Pollack's unpublished writings, as well as interviews with Streisand, Redford, and other key players, this is the definitive account of a film that changed the rules of moviemaking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

©2023 Robert Hofler (P)2023 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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