The Way We Were

Yesterday I noticed that Turner Classic Movies was going to be showing the 1973 movie The Way We Were, with Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford.

I remembered going to see it in San Francisco with Leslie St. Clair, a long time friend who passed away about a dozen years ago. My memories of Leslie and the fun we had together are a blessing.

She said I was like Katie, Barbra’s character, always fighting for a cause, usually taking an unpopular stand. She lusted for Robert Redford.

It was a very nostalgic movie, even back in 1973. It used the radicals of the late 1930s through the 1950s at a time when the radicalism of the 1960s was still too fresh, too raw.

Over the years I have read more, studied more. Indeed I have a fondness for novels set in New York during thew 1930-1970s. Epics spanning generation.

Last night I saw and heard things that are now largely absent from films. Actual acting with real dialogue and chemistry between the leading actor and actress. I get so tired of gun battles and car chases.

It has been nearly fifty years. The film is as beautiful as ever (the only clinker in it, which Tina called to my attention was that the Holocaust was never mentioned) Both Streisand and Redford have supported causes which I support. I miss seeing movies made for adults, romances and romantic comedies not centered on violence.

While I don’t think Leslie’s birthday was on Valentines day it was within a day or two of that date and so I associate Valentine’s Day with her just as I associate The Way We Were with her and that early 1970s era in San Francisco.

July 5, will mark a dozen years since she passed away.

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