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In World War I London, Myra is an American out of work chorus girl making ends meet by picking up men on Waterloo Bridge. During a Zeppelin air raid she meets Roy, a naive young American who enlisted in the Canadian army. They fall for each other, and he tricks Myra into visiting his family who live in a country estate outside London, where his step-father is a retired British Major. However Myra is reluctant to continue the relationship with Roy, because she has not told him about her past. Written by
According to a 1985 interview with Greg Mank, Mae Clarke claims she was talked about for an Oscar nomination. See more »
Near the end, when Roy goes out looking for Myra, the "sky" he walks under can be seen to be quite wrinkled - it's really a canvas backdrop. See more »
Lovely night, huh?
Lovely night for what? Air raids? Those fellows up there give me the willies.
Well, they're men, aren't they? I'd rather they throw bombs on me, than take no notice of me at all.
I expect they do that just to please you, dearie.
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Waterloo Bridge- The Original-Gritty and Forceful ***
Mae Clarke does a remarkable job in the same year that James Cagney put a grapefruit in her face in "Public Enemy." Miss Clarke is quite effective as the heroine of "Waterloo Bridge."
As a prostitute working the streets of London during World War 1, Clarke gives a tour de force as a woman who can be loving one moment and difficult to handle in the next.
The story deals also with class warfare when during an air-raid, Clarke meets a wealthy Canadian serving in the British army. He falls for her and she loves him but she knows that their differences would prevent them from true happiness. Brought to his country estate, his kindly mother, played by a charming Enid Bennett, warns against such a liaison. Fred Kerr, as his step-father, provides comic relief as a deaf elderly British officer.
One weak link in this film is Kent Douglass, who portrays the young man. Naive and kind, the chemistry is really not there between himself and Miss Clarke. He is only effective briefly in a scene with veteran actress Ethel Griffies, who portrays a greedy, conniving landlady.
The film has worn well through the many years and is worth seeing due to Miss Clarke's excellent performance. Am sure that Vivien Leigh and Leslie Caron, who both starred in the remakes, learned a lot from Miss Clarke. Look for Bette Davis as Douglass's sister. This was her first film and it is interesting to see how she evolved into the great talent that she was.
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