The Way They Were: How Epic Battles and Bruised Egos Brought a Classic Hollywood Love Story to the Screen (Paperback)

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The first ever account of the making of the cinematic classic The Way We Were 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...

It's one of the greatest movie romances of all time. Fifty years on, the chemistry between Barbra Streisand as Jewish working-class firebrand Katie Morosky and Robert Redford as all-American golden boy Hubbell Gardiner remains potent. Yet ­the friction and controversy surrounding The Way We Were were so enormous, the movie was nearly never made at all.

Impeccably researched and eye-opening, here is the full story behind the challenges, rivalries, and real-life romance surrounding the movie. Even the iconic casting was fraught. Screenwriter Arthur Laurents wrote the role of Katie with Streisand in mind, but finding Hubbell was another matter. Redford was reluctant to play what he perceived as the "Ken doll" to Streisand's lead, resulting in ten writers--among them Francis Ford Coppola--being called in to rework the script.

The first preview was disastrous. Several scenes were cut, angering Streisand and Laurents, yet the new version was a resounding success, and its appeal endures, earning it a regular spot in the AFI's annual Top 10 movie romances.

The Way They Were also explores the deep, surprising love story that inspired the screenplay--the relationship between Laurents, a Jewish Brooklyn-born college leftist, and his longtime partner, Tom Hatcher. Drawing on Laurents's unpublished writings, as well as interviews with Streisand, Redford, and other key players, this is the definitive account of a film that changed the rules of moviemaking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 has defined romance ever since.

About the Author

Robert Hofler is the lead theater critic at TheWrap and author of bestselling, critically acclaimed biographies, including Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne: A Life in Several Acts; The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson; Party Animals; and the Lambda Literary Award nominated Sexplosion: From Andy Warhol to A Clockwork Orange, How a Generation of Pop Rebels Broke All the Taboos. The recipient of the 2020 Los Angeles Press Club Award for Best Theater Reviews, he previously has been an editor and writer for Life, Us Weekly, and Variety. He lives in New York City and can be found online at

Product Details
ISBN: 9780806542331
ISBN-10: 0806542330
Publisher: Citadel Press
Publication Date: January 21st, 2025
Pages: 400
Language: English