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VIDEO : BACK TO `THE WAY WE WERE'.

Byline: Rob Lowman Entertainment Editor

Memories, in the corner of her mind. And one of Barbra Streisand's fondest memories was making ``The Way We Were,'' calling it a highlight of her career.

And listening to her speak about ``The Way We Were'' on a 65-minute documentary that accompanies the 25th anniversary edition DVD of the film (Columbia; $24.99), you know she means it.

Streisand's great affection for the film is evident when she talks about her role role as Katie Morosky, the leftist Jewish girl who falls for WASPish Hubbell Gardiner (Robert Redford), saying she identified with her character's being an outsider. Interestingly, Streisand still feels that two scenes director Sydney Pollack cut after a preview should have remained in the film.

Pollack, who is also interviewed in the documentary, says he and the actress have been having a discussion about it ever since. Streisand contends that the way the film ended up makes it seem like Katie and Hubbell split up over an affair he had, but the two scenes show that the real reason they parted had to do with their longstanding political and philosophical differences.

Streisand even allowed the deleted scenes to be used in the documentary, so the viewer can make the choice. Pollack tactfully says that thought he made the right decision then - based on the fact that the film flowed better - but is less sure now.

Marvin Hamlisch and Alan and Marilyn Bergman, who wrote the Oscar-winning title song, discuss the music on the documentary, including Streisand's suggesting the change of the opening word of the song from ``daydreams'' to ``memories.''

Screenwriter Authur Laurents, who is also interviewed, mentions that after talking to Streisand, he remembered a girl from his youth named Fanny Brice (strangely the same name as that of the famed comedienne Streisand portrayed in ``Funny Girl''), who became the model for Katie.

As for Redford, he's just talked about. Pollack notes the actor was reluctant at first to do the role because it was a ``pinup girl in reverse,'' and Streisand thinks it's his best performance. And in a testament to the enduring affection fans have for the romantic tearjerker, Laurents says Redford told him that women still come up to him and brush the hair off his forehead the way Katie did to Hubbell at the end of the film.

`Shakespeare in Love'

Whether this year's Oscar-winning film will spark the same kind of affection and memories in 25 years remains to be seen, but in the meantime the collector's series version of ``Shakespeare in Love'' on DVD (Miramax; $39.99) tells you everything you need to know about the romantic comedy.

As Joseph Fiennes, who plays the Bard, points out on a 22-minute behind-the-scenes feature called `Shakespeare in Love and on Film,'' the film provided ``a great chance to reinvent someone who we think we know.'' Others in the cast, plus academics, offer their views on the playwright and Elizabethan times.

Also included on the DVD is running commentary from director John Madden (great for those interested in the filmmaking process) and four deleted scenes, including an alternate ending and a joke the crew made for Miramax head Harvey Weinstein (unlike most DVDs with extra material, though, the four scenes aren't separate but are strung together.)

While ``Shakespeare'' and ``The Way We Were'' take on romance from two different angles (and eras), they'd make a great double bill - maybe New Year's Eve would be a good time. You choose the order.

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Photo: An alternative ending to ``The Way We Were,'' starring Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, is included on a new DVD.
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Title Annotation:L.A. Life
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Dec 17, 1999
Words:607
Previous Article:SOUND CHECK.
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