‘Love Story’ Actors Pose For New Photo
‘Love Story’ Actors Pose For New Photo, Ryan O’Neal and costar Ali MacGraw have only seen each other one other time in the last 10 years. The photo places MacGraw and O’Neal at the center of the collected group, standing high above the rest of the luminaries. It’s an appropriate placement, because without the success of their movie 42 years ago, there might not be a Paramount Pictures today.
By the mid-1960s, Paramount Pictures was floundering. It had suffered a string of expensive and embarrassing flops like the Lee Marvin/Clint Eastwood musical (yes, musical) “Paint Your Wagon.” Paramount’s parent company Gulf+Western was on the verge of dumping the entire film studio. But then young head of production Robert Evans convinced the board that they had a hit on their hands with the movie based on a runaway bestselling novel called “Love Story.”
Author Erich Segal originally wrote “Love Story” as a screenplay, but after it was rejected by several studios he turned it into a novel. Evans, who was married to MacGraw at the time, greenlit the movie version with his wife in the lead (though, at age 31, she was already six years older than her character lived to be).
“Love Story” was a smash hit, bringing in over $100 million in the U.S. (in 2012 dollars, that’s over $550 million, slightly less than “The Avengers” has earned). It also received eight Academy Award nominations, including nods for MacGraw and O’Neal, and won the Oscar for Best Original Score. More importantly, it established Paramount Pictures as a leading studio again. It went on to make some of the most successful and acclaimed films of the era: “The Godfather,” “Chinatown,” “Paper Moon,” “Harold and Maude,” “The Conversation,” “Marathon Man,” and “Saturday Night Fever.”