The life of Fanny Brice, famed comedienne and entertainer of the early 1900s. We see her rise to fame as a Ziegfeld girl, subsequent career, and her personal life, particularly her relationship with Nick Arnstein.
The often unlikely joint lives of Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner from the late 1930s to the late 1950s is presented, over which time, they are, in no particular order, strangers, acquaintances, friends, best friends, lovers and adversaries. The unlikely nature of their relationship is due to their fundamental differences, where she is Jewish and passionate about her political activism both in political freedoms and Marxism to an extreme where she takes life a little too seriously, while he is the golden boy WASP, being afforded the privileges in life because of his background but who on the most part is able to capitalize on those privileges. Their lives are shown in four general time periods, in chronological order when they attend the same college, their time in New York City during WWII, his life as a Hollywood screenwriter post-war, and his life as a writer for a New York based live television show. It is during college that Hubbell finds his voice in life as a writer, and ...Written by
This film won Barbra Streisand her second Best Actress Oscar nomination. Both times, she was in direct competition with Joanne Woodward, who was nominated for "Rachel, Rachel" and "Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams", respectively. See more »
When the radio announcer refers to the time of Franklin Roosevelt's death, he says it occurred at 5:45 in the morning. President Roosevelt died in the early afternoon. See more »
Katie Morosky Gardner:
Wouldn't it be lovely if we were old? We'd have survived all this. Everything thing would be easy and uncomplicated; the way it was when we were young.
Katie, it was never uncomplicated.
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When political commitment was stronger than personal commitment
Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford look wonderful in this great story of doomed love. Character development (or arc) is supposed to be one of the basic elements of a good screenplay; but the whole point of Sydney Pollack's 1973 movie is that neither Katie Moroski nor Hubbell Gardner changes. She remains the serious-minded Jewish left-wing activist, and he the easy-going, politically uncommitted WASP, they are when they first meet in college in 1937. Fascinated with each other precisely because they are such opposites, they have an affair, marry and have a baby; but their inability to compromise - or in his case to stop compromising - leads to break-up.
The main action spans the eventful decade from the Spanish Civil War and New Deal, through WWII, to the McCarthy era, by which time Katie and Hubbell have moved from New York to Hollywood, where he is a screenwriter. Though melodramatic and sketchy, the political dimension of the story should not be underestimated; this is one of the very rare American movies in which a communist is treated sympathetically. Presumably much of this side of the scenario stemmed from the personal experience of writer Arthur Laurents, who was the same age as his protagonists, and who had McCarthy-related problems.
Both stars are perfect for their roles; we can see what they see in each other; and we desperately want it to work for them, though we know it won't! Notable in support are Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles, and James Woods. The theme song, emotionally delivered by Streisand as only she can, is beautiful, but the relevance of its nostalgic lyric to this clear-eyed movie is doubtful.
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