Cover Image: The Way We Were

The Way We Were

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Member Reviews

Fifty Years! Ok that makes me gasp in horror. Why? Because it was only yesterday that I was mooning over Robert Redford, deliciously wonderful in anything including The Way We Were.
Barbara Streisand was a great foil. A big question was, would the movie be too insipid for RR. In this book we see the backstory. Redford respected Streisand as an artist but she hadn’t done any straight dramas. She’d worked on musicals. Was this going to be just another fluffy vehicle for Streisand, or could it be more? Step up a Sydney Pollack to walk the line of making a film that suited Redford and Streisand.  Interesting insight into all that went on to get the movie to its final cut.

A Rowman & Littlefield ARC via NetGalley.                                              
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
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There's nothing more guaranteed to make a person feel old than learning that one of her all-time favorite films is coming up on its fiftieth anniversary. I had just started college when The Way We Were opened, and I made a beeline for the theater and what would turn out to be one of the most memorable movie experiences of my life.

There's a reason why the movie theater experience is hands-down better than watching a film on a big-screen television at home. Sitting in the packed, darkened theater on that long ago day, when Robert Redford said, "Katie, you expect so much!" and Streisand looked at him and replied, "Oh, but look what I've got!" every female in the audience (and probably many males) audibly sighed. I'll never forget that. 
So... I wanted to know more about this movie, and author Tom Santopietro certainly delivered the goods with his in-depth, meticulous research. The movie studio was strapped for cash and thought that a movie with a non-singing (and Communist!) Barbra Streisand was the kiss of death. How wrong could a bunch of "experts" be?

From writing the story and the unforgettable music to choosing actors and filming locations and beyond, I feel as though I learned everything there is to know about The Way We Were. Anyone who's interested in this classic romantic film or in film-making itself should read it, too.
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Interesting story of the way the film was made and developed.    I really don't think it merited a book however.
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Highlighted this engaging new release for the Books section of Zoomer magazine article on the 50th anniversary of The Way We Were. (see column and mini-review at link)
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A wonderful book on the making of “The Way We Were”. Very well researched. Highly recommended!  Reading this will make you wish they had made the sequel, and you’ll read many reasons why they never made it.
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Behind the making of a classic movie with plenty of derails on the stars, script, and scenes. The people behind the set were challenged by sensitive personalities, plot changes and location shootings. I could watch Redford read the phone book and be giddy. So the squabbles about who says what and balancing the storylines was not that interesting to me. Film buffs and admirers of Streisand and Redford have a treat in store with this book. Thanks to #NetGalley and #TheWayWeWere for advanced digital copy.
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Thanks to NetGalley and Rowman & Littlefield for the ARC. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book.
Memories....a wonderful behind the scenes look at a classic and one of my favorite all time movies. The first half was particularly interesting as it was the background to how this all began - I was surprised to learn the story was first in book form. Also surprising was the reticence with which Robert Redford agreed to play Hubbell. If you're a fan of the movie, you'll want to read this.
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This classic film which I watched again yesterday seems slow and melodic compared to today's romance movies which usually are comedic vs syrupy...unless they are a bodice ripper like Bridgerton et al.

Lots of interesting stories, although the politics of Marxism and Communism as something to aspire to before WWII seems craaaazy, it was a wonderful romp back to a film that defined a generation. I loved the book from page one to end: anyone who saw this movie all those decades ago will appreciate it!
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I’ve only seen the movie straight through once. I found it painful and sad to watch. The title song is haunting and makes me sad and feel very melancholy.
I wanted to read the behind the scenes look at a film that made its appearance  just 2 weeks before I did. 
What I found the most interesting was the parts about the scenes deleted and how after seeing them the film makes more sense. I cut to YouTube several times to watch those and clips while reading.
It was also interesting to read that both Redford and Streisand at various times were interested in a sequel, I’m glad one was never made. Let the movie remain as is and the story remain where it ends, although it’s sad.
I always thought they wouldn’t stay together and also I get mad at Hubbell for completely Abandoning his daughter..
But it’s the way it was.
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Misty water coloured memories…back in 1974, living in London England, I went to see a movie starring two of my favourite actors.  In 1974, before VHS, SVS, BluRay or streaming, the only way to see a film was in the theatre.  And if you loved a movie, and were like me, you went to see it again and again.  I could not guess how many times I saw it and loved it each time.  It has been a while since I viewed it last but as I was reading the early parts of the book, particularly the script writing parts, I began to wonder if the author and I had seen the same movie.

It turns out from first concept to the screen it was a different movie.  Except for the writer of the script, I think most would agree that what was presented was more marketable and enjoyable than a several hour political lecture on the Black List.  It was a dark time in Hollywood and America where neighbour and friend tattled on each other.  There is no doubt some fear was understandable but as things will do, it got out of hand when ambitious people highjacked the agenda.

It is interesting to read about the creative process and various talents who helped create the film we know and love.  There were times when it was overtly contentious but the source was not Barbra Streisand,  From all sources, she was wonderful to cast and crew.  The biggest contentions were how bland and weak could the Robert Redford character be without losing the audience and whether the thrust of the movie was political/love story or love story with political bits.  Thankfully, Sydney Pollack walked that line beautifully so that what reached the screen tugged on our heartstrings, made us think, and entertained us.

Fans of the movie will enjoy reading about the steps that were taken.  The writing could be a tad tighter but the book is well worth a look.  Four purrs and two paws up.
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If you remember the movie, you’ll enjoy this book. Nice back story and reminisces..  Hard to believe it’s been fifty years.
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I saw "The Way We Were" many years ago and see it show up periodically on cable and hadn't been interested in re-watching it -- until now.  This book gives us a comprehensive behind-the-scenes journey through the background on casting the film, to challenges and infighting with Arthur Laurents on his screenplay (this was based on his semi-autobiographical novel), convincing Robert Redford to play the lead, and scoring the memorable music.  The book has interviews with many involved in the production and also takes us through editing choices throughout.  We learn some scenes were deleted that would have made the motivation clearer around the leads' break-up. Throughout the film there is a balancing of politics (red-baiting and black-lists) with romance.  Ultimately, the romance story wins out due to test audiences getting bored in the extensive courtroom or political speech scenes.  I highly recommend this book for a great look at how films get made with all the trials and tribulations as well as successes.  

Thank you to Netgalley and Rowman & Littlefield, Applause for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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The Way We Were: the Making of a romantic classic took me back to one of my all time favorite movies. This behind the scenes making of a movie was very interesting especially around what made it into the film and what landed on the cutting room floor (yes I want to see the first draft version too!). The author shares how there was a struggle between a political movie with a romance or a romantic movie with the backdrop of politics and how the author Arthur Laurents and the director Sydney Pollack were at odds throughout the process.

If you are looking for dirt on Streisand or Redford this is not that book, but if you enjoy learning more about how this treasured movie was cast, written, shot, etc you will enjoy it. The author does a marvelous job of helping you see specific scenes in the film making we want to view it again!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Way We Were: The Making of a Romantic Classic was a good read. I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at how this movie came about. A must read for any fan of the movie.

Thank you to the publisher for an advance copy of this book. This is my honest review.
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I absolutely loved reading this book.  I was completely drawn into the topic and could not stop reading it.
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As the 50th anniversary of the Streisand/Redford film approaches, Tom Santopietro,  already known as a Hollywood film historian, gives us an incredibly comprehensive behind the scenes narrative of a movie that apparently defied a lot of odds to get made. It’s not particularly sentimental — it’s a blow by blow of what went on before the first audience ever  heard Barbra sing the famous song. I’m a fan of both actors and this book is also for the truly obsessed — the details are amazing and the players are vividly described. This is quite a piece of Hollywood  storytelling history that can be enjoyed by everyone. 4 stars.

Thank you to Rowman & Littlefield and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!
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I always enjoy reading books about making of movies so this was right up my alley. I really enjoyed how well this was written and it kept me invested in what was going on. I hope Tom Santopietro writes more like this book as I really enjoyed this.
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Author Tom Santopietro seems to have put a lot of effort into compiling a book of anecdotes about the making of the Robert Redford/Barbra Streisand movie romance smash The Way We Were.  This book is often insightful in its many interviews with the primary creators of the film, most notably director Sidney Pollock and writer Arthur Laurents. Laurents’ original screenplay (which was rewritten by a multitude of uncredited writers) was a political story first and love story second. Director Pollock reversed that order. In making sure the movie star romance and star wattage worked, Pollock cut out much of the plot. This book is often repetitive and could have used a much stronger editor. Enjoyable none-the-less.
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