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The Way We Were (1973)

PG  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 October 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 15,187 users  
Reviews: 96 user | 32 critic

Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marcia Mae Jones ...
Eric Boles ...


The movie begins with the Katie (Barbra Streisand) running into Hubbell Gardner, an All-American popular jock she went to college with, some time after World War II. Though some other summaries claim it's been about 20 years, that is not really the case. It's probably been more like 10 years since college and Hubbell has written his first novel and later joined the navy while Katie continues to work hard and remains very much involved in the grassroots level of politics. Katie who had a crush on Hubbell back in college is still very attracted to him and soon the two start an "on again off again" relationship. Eventually Katie ends up giving up her voice and her interest in politics in order to hold on to Hubbell and they get married. However when Hubbell begins to compromise his literary talent by abandoning his novel writing for writing Screenplays for Hollywood their marriage begins its downfall. When the government begins its witch-hunt for communists among Hollywood writers and ... Written by bberry

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Everything seemed so important then .. even love! See more »


Drama | Romance


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuestros años felices  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Warren Beatty was originally offered for the role of Hubbell See more »


At the beginning of the movie, Katie walks into a bar with Bill. They agree that Katie will have her usual, Dubonnet on the rocks. Bill disappears for a moment, then returns with Katie's drink, which has absolutely no ice. See more »


Hubbell Gardner: You think you're easy? Compared to what, the Hundred Years' War?
See more »


Referenced in Sesión continua (1984) See more »


The Glory Of Love
(1936) (uncredited)
Written by Billy Hill
Played as dance music at the El Morocco
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The best film romance for adult audiences
20 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

As stated many times before, THE WAY WE WERE is one of only a handful of romantic blockbusters to actually feature an intelligent script and complex characters. Writer Arthur Luarents' based his screenplay (and subsequent novel) on girl he knew in college, who fought for liberal (and sometimes communist) causes. Three decades after it's release, THE WAY WE WERE remains one of the few cinematic depictions of the Red Scare that swept America in the forties and fifties; the backdrop of which lends the surrounding love story greater potency and depth. The film was a surprise box office smash when originally released, and became the fifth-highest grossing film of 1973 and was instantly embraced as a classic.

Katie Morosky is a character that Barbra Streisand born play, and she delivers on all accounts. Fierce and determined, yet vulnerable and self-conscious, Katie is a tricky character and Streisand inhabits her so deeply that she seems nothing less than completely believable. Justifiably nominated for a Best Actress Oscar, she inexplicably lost to Glenda Jackson's shrill performance in the barely remembered A TOUCH OF CLASS. This was clearly a major blunder on the side of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Robert Redford, who had actually turned down the role twice before director and friend Sydney Pollack talked him into taking the part, displays some of the best reflective acting ever seen on the big screen and effectively brings forth the dark side of being stereotyped as the All-American golden boy (although Redford did not receive an Oscar nod for playing Hubbell in this film, he was nominated for Best Actor that same year for his light comedic performance in THE STING).

THE WAY WE WERE is different from most romances in that it is not death, feuding families, or any other societal phenomena that directly tear the couple apart. Katie and Hubbell are simply passionate individuals with highly volatile, and contrasting, ideologies; the conflict of which is expressed in several brilliantly written and acted scenes that shimmer with the type of intelligence and honesty that is rarely seen in cinema today. The film's enduring popular success with the mass audience may very well be due to the magnetic chemistry between Streisand and Redford, the gorgeous cinematography, and the strong directorial hand supplied by Pollack. However, it is the complexity of the romance with politics and the strong characterizations by both leads that continues to make THE WAY WE WERE the best love story for adults.

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