Redford and Streisand are perfect companions in this sometimes light-hearted and often dark semi-comedy of star crossed lovers that should have never joined their paths. Redford, the pretty boy WASP to the core, plays the part of Hubbel Gardiner - Streisand, totally the radical Jewish woman in this role, plays the part of Katie Morosky. The story starts with Katie at a peace rally at college - very outspoken and she remains this way throughout the movie. Hubbell passes through the crowd, stops and listens for a few minutes, is taken with her fire and commitment to her beliefs, but being what he is - wanders off without a second thought. Later they meet again while she is serving punch at a dance and he is with the latest pretty girl about town. They share a dance - Katie is slightly smitten, Hubbell wanders off on his way again.
Years later, sitting in a bar one evening, Katie sees Hubbell across the room - asleep at the bar - in his Navy uniform. Now I gotta say here, this was probably the best looking time in Redford's life and he looked fantastic in that uniform. Katie approaches him and gently reaches out and brushes the hair out of his face, causing him to waken. She takes him home as he has no where else to stay and is just in town on leave and this is the beginning of the end of their relationship.
Always outspoken, Katie has been the butt of jokes by Hubbell's friends for years. Hubbell is a aspiring writer but never really applies himself, until Katie forces him to finish the book he has been working on for years. His friends make many attempts to keep Katie and Hubbell apart and for the most part succeed, but there is a deep seated love here between both parties that I do not think they even realize.
Of course they marry and move to California, where Hubbell becomes a successful writer. Katie remains vocal - even getting put on the infamous House Un-American Activities list and manages to get arrested. Throughout their life and marriage there is always the old girlfriend waiting in the wings - equal WASP to Hubbell and the exact opposite of Katie. Even Hubbell can see that though a beautiful woman, she is shallow and pale compared to the firey woman he is married to. This, however, is not enough to keep them together. After the birth of their daughter, Hubbell and Katie divorce and go their separate ways.
In reflection, Hubbell and his friends are sitting around viewing old movies and they come across one of Katie at one of her many rallies. Even J.J. (Bradford Dittman), who has been the most outspoken against Katie for years, turns to Hubbell and remarks Lord, that was one powerful woman'. Hubbell sadly agrees she was probably the best thing that entered any of their pitiful lives.
Years later, they cross paths again in New York. Katie has married her solid Jewish counterpart and Hubbell has sold out to the power moguls and is producing tripe instead of the great American novel he always dreamed of. In a particularly poignant scene, Hubbell and current blonde, pale, washed out babe emerge from a taxi and Hubbell glances across the street. There on the corner is his beautiful Katie - vibrant, vocal, still beating her breast for a cause. With just a hint of a smile he yells to her You never give up do you?' and she replies - Only once'
It is 1937, and Katie (Barbra Streisand) is a somewhat homely, working-class political activist who is infatuated with dashing, handsome, and athletic college classmate Hubbell (Robert Redford). He finds her kooky and outspoken but they begin an affair and eventually marry. Their personalities clash over the years but their relationship is really tested during the McCarthy era. I didn't find this movie to be the emotionally-charged weeper I'd heard about. I didn't … more
Sydney Pollack directs Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand in this sensitive and moving tale of the romance of two individuals whose political ideologies are exact opposites. Streisand won an Academy Award nomination for her performance as Katie Morosky, a Jewish student radical who falls in love with Hubbell Gardner (Redford), a conservative privileged writer. The two interact from the beginning of their college courtship through the Hollywood-blacklisting era of the 1950s.