“Theater critic Hofler (Money, Murder, and Dominick Dunne) delivers a spellbinding behind-the-scenes look at the seminal 1973 film The Way We Were. Hofler’s prose sparkles, and he successfully blends histrionics with on-screen magic. The captivating result makes clear that the drama happening behind the camera can be just as gripping as what’s in front of it.” — Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
“[I]t’s a rich, gossipy tale of the dream factory in full throttle…. supported by excellent research and analysis…. Hofler lays out just how difficult it can be to create a movie from whole cloth when several people are allowed access to scissors.” — Douglass K. Daniel, Associated Press
“Hofler digs deep to find the drama that went on behind-the-scenes…. a detailed and well-researched biography of a popular film that avid fans and film students will likely find fascinating” — Rosellen Brewer, Library Journal
“Hofler knows the trick of writing a ‘making of’ book: to give the behind-the-scenes story a measure of the excitement, even the suspense, of an actual movie. He nails it….a thoroughly entertaining account of how the movie got made.” — David Pitt, Booklist
“Who was the auteur behind “The Way We Were”? The (mostly) fondly remembered 1973 drama began life as an Arthur Laurents screen treatment, which he then converted to a novel and screenplay…. As Robert Hofler expertly documents in “The Way They Were,” Laurents’s screenplay was soon lateraled to hired hands David Rayfiel and Alvin Sargent….[I]n his thoughtful and deeply researched final chapter, Hofler — whose previous works include “The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson” and “Money, Murder and Dominick Dunne” — reintroduces us to the original auteur. Laurents may have been persona non grata through most of the film’s production, but he was already an accomplished playwright (“Home of the Brave,” “The Time of the Cuckoo”), screenwriter (“Rope,” “Anastasia”) and, most imperishably, the book writer for both “West Side Story” and “Gypsy.” He was also, writes Hofler, “a vast storehouse of unsettled grievances, complaints, and resentments,” a self-hating gay Jewish man who sprinted away from his family name, Levine, Hofler notes, and told people he’d been blacklisted when he probably hadn’t been and who antagonized virtually everyone he met. Even Larry Kramer found him rude. Yet “The Way We Were” couldn’t have existed if there weren’t something molten at his core. In 1955, at the suggestion of Gore Vidal, Laurents walked into a Beverly Hills men’s clothing store and feasted his eyes on the manager, Tom Hatcher, a gorgeous blond blue-eyed out-of-work actor (and sometime truck driver and hustler) in need of a protector. Their partnership lasted until Hatcher’s death in 2006, and it may be that Laurents never ceased to marvel at having landed the object of his fantasy. “I saw Arthur as Katie,” said one friend, “and Hubbell as Tom. Most people did.” It may be, too, that when Laurents died in 2011, he took comfort in knowing that he and Tom had been immortalized by Hollywood without its knowledge. Call it the auteur’s revenge.” — Louis Broyard, The Washington Post
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of “The Way We Were,” this intriguing and impeccably researched book details the making of the classic film 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 of opposites who attract and start breaking up – even before they get married…
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. The film’s appeal endures, earning it a regular spot in the AFI’s annual Top 10 movie romances.
Drawing on a vast trove of screenwriter Arthur 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.
AVAILABLE JANUARY 24th