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Tom Santopietro: ‘The Way We Were: The Making of a Romantic Classic’

November 8, 2023 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Author Tom Santopietro joins us to discuss his latest book exploring the making of the classic film The Way We Were:

The most beloved romantic drama of the past fifty years. A haunting title tune that topped charts around the world. Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford at the peaks of their careers – and a film no one thought would succeed.

But succeed it did, breaking box office records around the world with a nostalgia drenched, decade spanning story featuring an awkward, passionate, political activist who falls in love with the campus golden boy. A story of opposites attracting, colliding, marrying, and divorcing, until they meet one last time and…

Now, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the film’s release, The Way We Were- The Making of a Romantic Classic, presents the definitive inside story behind the struggle to make the film, the Academy Awards it won- and didn’t- the fights, the passion- and the knock out power of a film that continues to resonate fifty years later.

Tom Santopietro, author of acclaimed works on Barbra Streisand, Doris Day, and The Sound of Music, gives a full account of this beloved classic, from screenwriter Arthur Laurents’s first treatment to director Sydney Pollock’s wrangling of two superstars with directing ambitions of their own; from a disastrous first preview to a triumphant opening filled with glitter, glamor, and critical controversy.

Laced with humor, passion, and fascinating, behind-the-scenes stories, The Making of a Romantic Classic entertains with a film historian’s keen, insightful analysis while always staying focused on the extraordinary friendship and chemistry between Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford that has fueled talk of a sequel for no less than fifty years.

Featuring new insights from Barbra Streisand, James Woods, Lois Chiles, and Alan Bergman, as well as interviews with fans and film historians alike, here is the ultimate inside story behind the Hollywood romance beloved by anyone who has ever loved with passion, regret- and never ending mem’ries.

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About Tom Santopietro

Tom Santopietro is the author of eight previous books, including the best-selling The Sound of Music Story, The Importance of Being Barbra, Sinatra in Hollywood, The Godfather Effect, Why To Kill A Mockingbird Matters, and The New York Times Editor’s Choice Considering Doris Day. Over the past thirty years, he has managed three dozen Broadway shows.

About The Way We Were

The Way We Were: a nostalgia drenched, bittersweet romance starring superstars Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford at the peaks of their careers, and a story for everyone who was ever loved with passion, if not wisely. A smash hit around the world whose power echoes to this day—yet a film whose success was so far from assured that one studio executive was heard to exclaim: “Barbra Streisand doesn’t sing and she plays a communist—are you trying to kill me?!” But succeed the film did, propelled by a smash-hit title song and career defining performances from Streisand and Redford. Now, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the film’s release, best-selling author Tom Santopietro provides the definitive inside story behind the challenges, disputes, and creative passions of those who fought to make this landmark film. Charting the path from screenwriter Arthur Laurents’s initial inspiration to the fervent talk of a possible sequel, Santopietro mingles reverence and wry humor to decode the mysterious chemistry between Streisand and Redford that created a romance for the ages. Filled with humorous location anecdotes and fascinating first-hand accounts by actors, film historians, and members of the creative team, The Way We Were: The Making of a Romantic Classic is a witty, thoughtful, and loving book for everyone who cherishes this American classic.

Praise for the Way We Were:

“All of Tom Santopietro’s books are impeccably researched, well-written, highly entertaining, informative, and original in understanding. The Way We Were is no exception. He clearly defines the lasting appeal of this movie, and is particularly perceptive about the importance of Barbra Streisand’s presence in that success.”—Jeanine Basinger, film historian and author of The Movie Musical

“The expert and brilliant film historian Tom Santopietro takes us behind the scenes for the making of the film The Way We Were, a love story that defined a generation. You will be enthralled as Santopietro guides you through the development of the story, the unlikely pairing of the lead actors, and the miracle of the production itself. There will never be another artist of the magnitude, breadth, and magnificence of Barbra Streisand, yet in Santopietro’s hands, Streisand is a working artist who navigates Hollywood despite her gender and insurmountable obstacles. You will be delighted by the cast that sets out to make this movie, especially the easygoing leading man, Robert Redford, a star who possesses as much grace as talent. There are surprises, shocking secrets never before revealed, and at the heart of the production, a determined group of artists who wanted to make an unforgettable film for post-war audiences. Spectacular.”—Adriana Trigiani, film director and author of the best-selling The Good Left Undone


November 8, 2023
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm


Ceremonial Hall (4th Floor)
2 W 64th St
New York, NY 10023 United States
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