As we were


August 19, 2022

The Way We Were (original title: The Way We Were) is an American romance film from 1973. At the German premiere, it was titled Cherie Bitter. In the GDR the film was called Those Years in Hollywood.


The film tells the love story between Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner. Katie and Hubbell meet at university in the 1930s. Katie is a Jewish Marxist who fights for peace at university. Hubbell is a handsome college student from a wealthy family who pokes fun at the dedicated Katie with his friends. While earning her college degree as a waitress, Hubbell is a guest at the restaurant where she works. Despite their differences, both have one thing in common: a passion for writing. Katie thinks Hubbell is an extremely talented writer and sees a bright future for him. Years later, during World War II, they meet again in a bar in New York City. Katie works in radio and Hubbell is on leave as a naval officer. The two become a couple. After the war they go to Hollywood, where Hubbell pursues a career as a screenwriter in films. For Katie, that means a waste of his talent. During the McCarthy hysteria, Katie's past as a Marxist is fatal to both of them. Katie is uncompromising, while Hubbell has a knack for adapting to any situation. They begin to fall apart again. Katie eventually becomes pregnant, but Hubbell has an affair with the attractive Carol Ann while she is pregnant. The marriage is finally destroyed. Years later, Katie and Hubbell run into each other in front of the Plaza Hotel in New York. He writes screenplays for sitcoms. She, now remarried, is still politically active and distributes leaflets. They remember the old days as they were then. But the past remains the past. They will continue to go their separate ways in the future.


Barbra Streisand's producer Ray Stark asked playwright Arthur Laurents to write a dramatic screenplay for Streisand. Laurents wrote the screenplay based on his memories of college days, his time in McCarthy-era Hollywood, and his experiences with the Un-American Activities Committee. Stark was enthusiastic about Laurents' draft script and Laurents decided to write a novel as well as the script. The novel was published before the film was released. When it came to casting the male lead, Stark's first choice was Ryan O'Neal. Streisand had previously worked on the comedy Is' was, Doc? a great success alongside O'Neal. Streisand and O'Neal had a relationship while filming What's Up, Doc? a love affair that had since cooled off. Stark and Streisand then chose Robert Redford. First choice to direct was Sydney Pollack, who had previously worked with Redford and promised the star that he would have his role rewritten if he didn't like the script. When Arthur Laurents finally submitted his final draft, Pollack and Redford asked a total of eleven writers to edit the screenplay, including Dalton Trumbo and Francis Ford Coppola. However, once filming began, they brought Laurents back to work on the mistakes that had now arisen. Laurents agreed to a higher fee.

film music

The song The Way We Were, performed by Barbra Streisand, was ranked number 8 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list of the top 100 American film songs by the American Film Institute in 2004.


For Cinema As We Were was "[a] beautiful and glamorously made love melodrama without kitsch". The television magazine called Prisma