The Way We Were: Cut Scenes
After audience reactions to early previews of the film, director Sydney Pollack took out several scenes from the movie's climactic turning point, as well as some character development scenes from early in the film. In the documentary Looking Back (on the 1999 DVD of The Way We Were), Pollack explained: “This story reaches a point where you know these two characters are finished. And it's at the end of the projection room [scene].”
Screenwriter Arthur Laurents added: “But the climax is missing ... the audience doesn't care.”
And Streisand said, “There weren't many movies made about this period of time and the Black List and that's why it killed me to have those scenes taken out.”
“I feel there is real value in a lot of these scenes,” Pollack elaborated. “But I made the decision at the time that I was going to sacrifice some of those little moments both for an overall shape that felt righter to me and for a certain amount of pace to the picture.”
The cut scenes are listed and illustrated below.
A—"Did you ever see such a smile?" ... Hubbell tells Katie a story about how he learned at an early age that his "beauty" was admired.
B—"How am I?" "You surprise me." ... This brief scene featured Katie feeding grapes to Hubbell in bed.
C—"I love being couped up with you." ... Katie encourages Hubbell to concentrate and finish his book.
D—"I love you, Hubbell." ... Katie and Hubbell imagine introducing each other to their parents. The scene illustrates that Hubbell is colder than the effusive Katie, who commits herself wholeheartedly to men and politics.
E—In California, Katie drives by a university campus and sees a young girl giving a political speech. The girl reminds Katie of herself and of her college days. Katie cries.
F—On a movie soundstage, Hollywood's version of Hubbell's book "stinks" according to Katie.
G—"We live on he beach in Malibu, California, and that is not where we started." ... Hubbell discourages Katie from going to Washington, DC.
H—"The little rat." ... Hubbell tells Katie that Frankie, her college friend, informed on her for being a member of the Young Communist League in college. Hubbell cannot get a writing job in Hollywood because he has a "subversive wife". Katie, pregnant with their child, and Hubbell, frustrated with the politics, finally see the inevitable solution to their problem. This scene would have clarified the politics of the storyline immensely.
I—Katie, carrying groceries, confronts informer Rhea in the grocery store. This scene preceded cut scene E. (Below: more photos from this cut scene ...)
J—A rainy wedding night. This scene (below) was also cut.
Streisand wore this patterned wool 1940s-style overcoat by Dorothy Jeakins and Moss Mabry in the scene.
Below: Here are stills from another sequence that depicted Katie, in Brooklyn, planting some flowers then interacting with some neighborhood kids.
Below: Here's more photos of a scene between Katie and Paula Reisner (Viveca Lindfors) at the Malibu homestead.
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