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Happy Fiftieth Anniversary, “The Way We Were!”

Sydney Pollack’s 1973 surprise hit, the romantic drama The Way We Were, promised not only a love story for the ages, but also a vehicle for its stars. (Print ads and trailers spotlighted “Streisand and Redford together!”) The unlikely relationship between plucky Jewish Marxist Katie Morosky (Streisand) and golden boy WASP Hubbell Gardiner (Redford) — for whom “like the country he lived in, everything came too easily” — blooms against the backdrop of America redefining itself through the political upheavals of the late 1930s, WWII, and the era of Hollywood blacklists. An affair that unfolds and ultimately fails in episodes, The Way We Were’s throughline is the passionate and intellectual chemistry between its iconic leads and the swooningly romantic Academy Award–winning score by Marvin Hamlisch, also a co-writer of the eponymous theme song.