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William K. Howard
On the eve of World War II, a British officer revisits Waterloo Bridge and recalls the young man he was at the beginning of World War I and the young ballerina he met just before he left for the front. Myra stayed with him past curfew and is thrown out of the corps de ballet. She survives on the streets of London, falling even lower after she hears her true love has been killed in action. But he wasn't killed. Those terrible years were nothing more than a bad dream is Myra's hope after Roy finds her and takes her to his family's country estate. Written by
Dale O'Connor <email@example.com>
The scene in which Myra and Roy dance to "Auld Lang Syne" was supposed to have dialogue, but nobody could come up with the right words. At about 3:00 in the morning before shooting the scene was to take place, Mervyn LeRoy, a veteran of silent films, realized that there shouldn't be any lines and that the images should speak for themselves. The result is the most celebrated scene of the film. See more »
When Roy runs to the carriage to tell Myra they can marry, he lists her vitals to her and pronounces Warwickshire betraying his American nationality by pronouncing the second W in the shire's name. in England that word is pronounced Warrickshire, the second W is silent. See more »
What were you going to say?
Wish I could have seen the ballet. I'm sure it would have been a pleasant memory in the trenches.
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LeRoy made a film which flings prostitution in our faces, and in the faces of its characters - yet he doesn't dare mention the word or show the deed explicitly. I'm not complaining; the fact that no one dares utter the p-word helps the film immeasurably. The tragedy plays out best in an atmosphere in which Myra's moral stain, or purported moral stain, is LITERALLY an unspeakable one. No modern director (with the possible exception of David Mamet) would dare NOT be explicit.
Unfortunately for a love story, the love scenes are the only interactions lacking in electricity, the only interactions, in fact, that aren't interactions at all. They're the dull bits we endure in order to enjoy the real story. I should stress that they're still pleasant enough, so it's not MUCH of an endurance test.
And what IS the real story? The delightful thing about it, I think, is that it's perfectly ambiguous. Taken one way, the romance between hero and heroine is destroyed because of the power of a pervasive, yet false, moral belief: the belief that a prostitute is tainted, unfit for marriage, love, life itself. Taken this way the story is a social tragedy. But arguably the film is asking us to make believe that the pervasive moral belief is in fact true, that the heroine really is (through no fault of her own) tainted; taken THIS way, it's a kind of moral fantasy. Either way it works.
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