The Way We Were: Collector's Edition (1973)
Audio Commentary-Sydney Pollack (Director)
Biographies-Cast & Crew
|Year Of Production||1973|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (80:26)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Sydney Pollack|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 mono (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
French Audio Commentary
German Audio Commentary
Dutch Audio Commentary
|Smoking||Yes, well, it is a seventies movie after all|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, freeze of last scene of film accompanied by Barbra|
Well, this film at least is not afraid of being labelled soppy, or sentimental, or corny. It has a strangely appealing (to me, at least) melancholic feel about it that you only find in movies made in the seventies - the sort of melancholy I sometimes experience sitting say on a porch or a balcony watching the rain, and I can almost hear the violins surging in the background playing Memories ...
Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand) is a Jewish girl who is a passionate fighter for political causes. At the beginning of the film we see her entering a nightclub after a hectic day at work where she meets a uniformed Hubbell Gardner (Robert Redford) who is so exhausted that he's sleeping whilst sitting upright on a bar stool. The film then takes us on a very extended flashback into their college years - it turns out they met each other in college.
At the time, Katie was a outspoken campus eccentric who was the President of the Young Communist League and fighting against the fascist rule of Spain. She seemed to be working at least three part-time jobs in between being a political activist to try and make ends meet. She was strangely attracted to and repulsed by her emotional, social as well as intellectual opposite - White Anglo Saxon Protestant (WASP) Hubbell Gardner. Hubbell likewise seemed to be intrigued by her political convictions, her passion and her daring to be different.
We then return back to the "present" of the nightclub. Katie takes the very sleepy Hubbell back to her place and gradually an unlikely love relationship develops between the two characters. The rest of the film is about them struggling to maintain their relationship in spite of their differences. Ultimately, neither of them are really willing or able to change their character for the other.
The film covers a fairly lengthy and eventful set of years, ranging from pre-World War II through the anti-Communist McCarthy era of the fifties and finally to the "present" day (presumably the seventies).
How will it end? Well, if you have never watched the film before, I won't spoil the ending for you. Movie buffs may be interested to spot a very young Lois Chiles (Moonraker and Death on the Nile) as Carol Ann and James Woods (Against All Odds, Any Given Sunday) as Frankie McVeigh.
The film source is relatively clean, apart from various small marks here and there. Fortunately for a film of its age, grain is not really an issue.
Sharpness and detail is consistently good, but the colour is just a little bit off (though this not really the fault of the transfer but more the film stock used during the period). Black levels for the transfer are quite good and demonstrate that some care has been taken during the telecine transfer.
The only artefacts I can detect are occasional shimmering and aliasing, plus slight posterization on the faces every now and then.
The film seems to have a very comprehensive list of subtitles. Even the audio commentary is subtitled into three languages (unfortunately not including English). I turned on the English subtitles. Apart from the occasional mistake every now and then, it is reasonably faithful to the audio track but does not contain any cues for the hearing impaired.
This is a single sided dual layered disc (RSDL) with the layer change occurring at 80:26. Although the freeze is noticeable, it is not that annoying.
In general, I was quite impressed by the soundtrack given the age of the film and the fact that it was originally released in mono. Dialogue sounded clear and natural sounding (apart from very occasional scenes where the characters are whispering but even then you can catch what they are saying if you listen intently enough). There are no audio synchronization issues.
Some have criticized the music soundtrack of this film as being overly repetitious - basically we get to hear the theme song ("Memories") played in just about every saccharine sweet and sentimental variation that you imagine. If you didn't particularly care for the tune to begin with, I think you will be pretty sick of it well before the end. Personally, I quite like the song, think it fits the film very well and didn't mind it at all. Right at the end, we get the full orchestral treatment with the theme song swelling to fill the loudspeakers accompanying Katie and Hubbell hugging each other. The effect is calculated to bring tears to your eyes and make you reach for the hankie. Well, it worked in my case. The music also sounded pretty full-bodied and rich which is again somewhat surprising given the age of the film.
The original soundtrack is in mono and has been remixed into Dolby Digital 5.1. Needless to say, dialogue is still very much centred in front and the other speakers are mainly used for the music and very occasional ambient noises. The rear surrounds and subwoofer are hardly used but again that's not surprising.
|Surround Channel Use|
The documentary comes with French, German, and Dutch subtitles. Despite the length of the documentary, there are surprisingly few MPEG artefacts - which is a good sign as it means the DVD authors have not overly compressed it.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Sony VPL-VW10HT LCD Projector, ScreenTechnics 16x9 matte white screen (203cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Speakers||Front left/right: B&W DM603; centre: B&W CC6S2, rear left/right: B&W DM601|