Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge

4.3 8
Director: Mervyn LeRoy

Cast: Mervyn LeRoy, Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor, Lucile Watson

     
 

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Given the omnipresence of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1940, the second film version of Robert E. Sherwood's Waterloo Bridge would have to be laundered and softened to pass muster. In the original, made in 1931, the heroine is nothing more or less than a streetwalker, patrolling London's Waterloo Bridge during World War I in hopes of picking up the

Overview

Given the omnipresence of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1940, the second film version of Robert E. Sherwood's Waterloo Bridge would have to be laundered and softened to pass muster. In the original, made in 1931, the heroine is nothing more or less than a streetwalker, patrolling London's Waterloo Bridge during World War I in hopes of picking up the occasional soldier. She falls in love with one of her clients, a young officer from an aristocratic family. Gently informed by the young man's mother that any marriage would be absolutely impossible, the streetwalker tearfully agrees, letting her beau down gently before ending her own life by walking directly into the path of an enemy bomb. In the remake, told in flashback as a means of "distancing" the audience from what few unsavory story elements were left, the heroine, Vivien Leigh, starts out as a virginal ballerina. Robert Taylor, a British officer from a wealthy family, falls in love with Vivien and brings her home to his folks. This time around, Taylor's uncle (C. Aubrey Smith), impressed by Vivien's sincerity, reluctantly agrees to the upcoming marriage. When Taylor marches off to war, Vivien abandons an important dance recital to bid her fiance goodbye, losing her job as a result. Later, she is led to believe that Taylor has been killed in battle. Thus impoverished and aggrieved, she is given a motivation for turning to prostitution, a plot element deemed unecessary in the original-which indeed it was. Now the stage is set for her final sacrifice, though the suicidal elements are carefully weeded out. Waterloo Bridge was remade for a second time in 1956 as Gaby, with Leslie Caron and John Kerr.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
It's hard to imagine a better tearjerker than 1940's Waterloo Bridge, a remake of the already-effective 1931 version that is simply one of the finest romantic sob-fests ever put on screen. Waterloo is so good that even many of those not inclined to enjoy this kind of "women's picture" may find themselves succumbing to its pull and may have to hide the hint of a tear as the film nears its inevitably tragic conclusion. The screenplay has been "softened" to conform to Code standards, so some of the rough edges of the earlier version have been scrubbed away. Yet the screenwriters and director Mervyn LeRoy don't let this deter them from creating an equally effective story or surprisingly complex characters. Even the supporting characters of the parents are handled well. They still must meet the Code-enforced dictates that they not approve of the prostitution that befalls Vivien Leigh's character, but they do so in a more nuanced manner than might be expected. Before Leigh's downfall, they also treat her character with more respect and acceptance than might be expected of the typical aristocratic couple in this kind of story. LeRoy's direction is marvelously assured throughout, and his handling of the "Auld Lang Syne" dance sequence is nothing short of magnificent. Best of all, however, are the performances of the leads. Leigh is luminous, radiant and charming, and handles the wide range of emotions demanded of her with expert care and intricacy. It's a dazzling yet never overpowering performance. More surprisingly, Robert Taylor is also top drawer. An actor whose performances could vary wildly, here he is in his element and his work was never better.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/27/2009
UPC:
0883929036295
Original Release:
1940
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:49:00
Sales rank:
4,244

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Vivien Leigh Myra
Robert Taylor Capt. Roy Cronin
Lucile Watson Margaret Cronin
Virginia Field Kitty
Maria Ouspenskaya Mme. Olga Kirowa
C. Aubrey Smith The Duke
Janet Shaw Maureen
Janet Waldo Elsa
Steffi Duna Lydia
Virginia Carroll Sylvia
Leda Nicova Marie
Florence Baker Beatrice
Eleanor Stewart Grace
Clara Reid Mrs. Bassett
Leo G. Carroll Policeman
Frances McInerney Violet
Harry Allen Taxi Driver
Jimmy Aubrey Cockney
Phyllis Barry Malicious Girl
Colin Campbell Groom
Rita Carlyle Flower Woman
David Clyde Barnes, the Butler
Denis D'Auburn Generous Man
Frank Dawson Vicar's Butler
Gilbert Emery Colonel
Herbert Evans Commissionaire
Douglas Gordon Taxi Driver
Denis Green Sergeant on Bridge
Ethel Griffies Mrs. Clark
Bobby Hale Taxi Driver
Winifred Harris Dowager
Halliwell Hobbes Vicar
Harold Howard Ticket Collector
Charles Irwin Announcer
Bill James Sergeant
George Kirby Waiter
Eric Lonsdale Soldier
Wilfred Lucas Elderly Huntsman
James May Cockney
Florine McKinney Viola
Charles McNaughton Mack, the Waiter
Frank Mitchell Father
Leonard Mudie Parker
Tempe Piggott Cockney
John Power Toff's Companion
Elsa Prescott Cockney Woman
Jean Prescott Girl
Paul Scardon Doorman
Wyndham Standing Toff
Harry Stubbs Proprietor of Eating House
David Thursby Cockney
Norma Varden Hostess
Martha Wentworth Tart on Bridge
Eric Wilton Headwaiter
Robert Winkler Boy
Douglas Wood Vicar

Technical Credits
Mervyn LeRoy Director
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
S.N. Behrmann Screenwriter
George Boemler Editor
Sidney Franklin Producer
George Froeschel Screenwriter
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Ernst Matray Choreography
Urie McCleary Art Director
Hans Rameau Screenwriter
Joseph Ruttenberg Cinematographer
Gile Steele Costumes/Costume Designer
Herbert Stothart Score Composer
Edwin B. Willis Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Waterloo Bridge
1. Credits [1:08]
2. Bridge to Memories [3:54]
3. Air Raid Encounter [5:18]
4. Good Luck Charm [1:38]
5. At the Ballet [2:21]
6. Backstage Notes [4:34]
7. Dinner Date to Remember [4:32]
8. Auld Lang Syne [2:54]
9. Keep Well [2:35]
10. Madame Olga's Warning [2:08]
11. 48 Hours Leave [4:30]
12. No Engagements During Leave [3:13]
13. The Duke Likes Dancers [2:42]
14. A Day's Delay [3:40]
15. Leave Canceled [2:58]
16. Missed Connection [2:13]
17. No more Ballet [2:04]
18. Flowers and Hope [4:06]
19. Fallen [3:44]
20. Lady Margaret [3:17]
21. The Easiest Way [4:11]
22. Strolling the Bridge [2:00]
23. Reunion [3:34]
24. Second Thoughts [4:13]
25. My Chance for Life [2:19]
26. To the Country [3:09]
27. Fear in Her Eyes [3:44]
28. The Duke Approves [3:32]
29. Being Sentimental [3:51]
30. Goodbye, Darling [5:03]
31. Looking for Myra [4:40]
32. Myra's Fatal Step [3:55]
33. Cast List [:39]

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Waterloo Bridge 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had never seen nor heard of this film until recently and was pleasantly surprised. Vivien Leigh's range of emotions was subtle yet nonetheless moving and I could easily see that her skill in this movie far surpasses Gone with the Wind. Robert Taylor's character was not as drawn out but he was still very good. The story is poignant and worth watching.
RBNY More than 1 year ago
Vivian Leigh preferred Waterloo Bridge to Gone With The Wind and A Street Car Named Desire. She is vulnarable, innocent, determined and sympathetic. Robert Taylor's character is not as multifaceted as Ms. Leigh's, but his performance is convincing. Lucille Watson plays Taylor's mother, and her performance is very moving and touching. Leigh portrays a ballerina during World War 1, and falls hopelessly in love with Taylor, who plays an officer. Their love is doomed when Leigh as Myra, receives misinformation that Roy (Taylor) has been killed in action. She spirals downward into prostitution, leading to a tragic ending. This a sad, but wonderfully written film.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This amazing film deserves a DVD format. It was, after all, Vivien Leigh's favorite film. She is so full of poise and grace, and is wonderfully paired with the handsome and very talented Robert Taylor. They are beautifully matched.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed Waterloo Bridge immensely. Vivien Leigh's acting talent is shown very well, in my opinion. She shows how cute and perky she can be, and then goes on to prove that she can also do serious, poignant, and heart-wrenching roles. True, the ending is sad, but not everything ends happily.
Guest More than 1 year ago
J'aimerais savoir si ce film est en français ou si il existe merci
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was good. The ending was very sad though. I guess it had to be. She hardly ever stays with her beau in her movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was alright but I really didn't like the ending. Vivien Leigh did a good job playing the character Mara but did better in Gone With The Wind.