MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,803 this week

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Passed  -  Drama | War | Romance  -  17 May 1940 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 6,091 users  
Reviews: 81 user | 13 critic

During WWI, believing her fiancé to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Related News

The A to Z of Benedict Cumberbatch
| Digital Spy
The A to Z of Benedict Cumberbatch
| Digital Spy

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 09 Sep 2011
 
a list of 30 titles
created 23 Sep 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 02 Sep 2012
 
a list of 21 titles
created 11 Feb 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Waterloo Bridge" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Waterloo Bridge (1940) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Waterloo Bridge.

User Polls

Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ship of Fools (1965)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

1933: An ocean liner belonging to a second-rate German company is making a twenty-six day voyage from Veracruz, Mexico to Bremerhaven, Germany. Along the way it will stop in Cuba to pick up... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer
Anna Karenina (1948)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A married woman's affair with a dashing young officer has tragic results.

Director: Julien Duvivier
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Ralph Richardson, Kieron Moore
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Cleopatra hasn't been on the throne of the pharoahs of Egypt very long when Julius Caesar pays a visit. Caesar finds the prospect of romance more tempting than he expected, since Cleopatra ... See full summary »

Director: Gabriel Pascal
Stars: Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh, Stewart Granger
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Whelan
Stars: Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A local politician in Scotland tries to break the reporter who wrote a negative story about him, and who is also in love with his daughter.

Directors: Ian Dalrymple, Victor Saville
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison, Cecil Parker
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Queen Elizabeth is running this show. The men in her court should be thinking about how to add to the glory of the Elizabethan Age and how to foil those pesky Spanish who got far too much ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Flora Robson, Vivien Leigh
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Critics and the public say Karen Stone is too old -- as she approaches 50 -- for her role in a play she is about to take to Broadway. Her businessman husband, 20 years her senior, has been ... See full summary »

Director: José Quintero
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Coral Browne
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Gutsy lass Gracie rallies fellow stall-holders at Birkenhead Market to prevent its takeover and demolition by a department store chain. She invokes the Market's foundation by Royal Charter ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dean
Stars: Gracie Fields, Vivien Leigh, Douglas Wakefield
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Lee Sheridan, a young American comes to study at Oxford University, but is instantly disliked by the other students, because of his brash and big-headed attitude. After several scrapes with... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Robert Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Lionel Barrymore
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Scatterbrain circus lady has to cover for her sour schoolmistress sister

Director: Albert de Courville
Stars: Cicely Courtneidge, Max Miller, William Gargan
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Director: Reginald Denham
Stars: David Horne, Leslie Perrins, Moira Lynd
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: George Pearson
Stars: Frederick Peisley, Vivien Leigh, Anthony Holles
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lucile Watson ...
Lady Margaret Cronin
Virginia Field ...
Maria Ouspenskaya ...
Madame Olga Kirowa
...
The Duke
Janet Shaw ...
Maureen
...
Elsa
Steffi Duna ...
Lydia
Virginia Carroll ...
Sylvia
Leda Nicova ...
Marie
Florence Baker ...
Beatrice
Margery Manning ...
Mary
Frances MacInerney ...
Violet
Eleanor Stewart ...
Grace
Edit

Storyline

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 <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El puente de Waterloo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ethel Griffies played (uncredited) the Landlady in BOTH Waterloo Bridge (1931) & Waterloo Bridge (1940). She was Mrs. Hobley in the earlier version and Mrs. Clark in the later version. See more »

Goofs

The uniforms worn by the officers are more like US uniforms in cut and cloth than British. Roy's officer's hat is distinctly American in shape. See more »

Quotes

Roy Cronin: The ballet was beautiful.
Myra Lester: Madame didn't think so.
Roy Cronin: Well, experts never know - it takes outsiders to know, and I tell you, it was beautiful.
Myra Lester: That certainly proves you're an outsider.
See more »

Connections

Version of A Ponte de Waterloo (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Candlelight Waltz
(1940) (uncredited)
Music by E. Flat
Lyrics by Artur Beul
Played as the final dance at the Candlelight Club
Danced to by Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor and other couples
Contains sections of "Auld Lang Syne"
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Chaos of a life turned on its head
27 April 2005 | by (MA) – See all my reviews

I've often thought that if Vivien Leigh hadn't had such a rocky and depressing life (manic depression, lost love in Lawrence Olivier, miscarriages, tuberculosis) she would have found a place among Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, and the like. She only made 19 films during her 30 year career, although that includes making legend as Scarlett O'Hara, and helping usher in a new era of acting by providing a pitch perfect classical foil as Blanche DuBois to Brando's smoldering and revolutionary Stanley Kowalski. But her favorite performance was that of Myra Lester in the tragic film Waterloo Bridge. Watching it it's no surprise: the film is subtly directed with a powerful story and well built characters that are an actor's dream to inhabit.

The story revolves around Myra, a ballerina turned prostitute during WWI when she believes her fiancée has died and she is plunged into poverty. The film was perfect fodder for melodrama, but rather it's a taut and realistic and uncompromising film. Direction is not overbearing and lets the film play out delicately except for several bold shots here and there which deeply accent it. Although the melodramas of the 40s are wonderful creatures, this film gained a lot by taking a rare path and going realistic.

Misfortune rules the day and is invited in after a series of near misses and miscalculations, and yet the plot doesn't feel technical or forced. Thanks to the script and performances, it all feels like the ebb and flow of the lives of these characters, pride and honesty and a slightly naive fiancée are the cause of Myra's downfall. And Leigh gives a performance on par with anything she's ever done, if not as epic as Gone With the Wind or wild as Blanche.

Leigh had a special way of handling the screen, of inhabiting her character with a certain distracted quality that made you feel as if she didn't realize there was a camera in the room or that she wasn't in fact the character she was playing. There are few actresses who could make it look as easy as she did, it seems like breathing. She was fierce and fearless, versatile; she could lose all her dignity on screen or be the living embodiment of it, and she possessed the rare quality of immediately communcating any emotion that was as tangible as anything with her face. That said, this is probably her most realistic character and her most tragic, and Leigh makes it profound and gut wrenching by being sophisticated and dignifed, and then at the right moments she takes the fall and gets ugly.

There's a brazen brilliant tracking shot where Myra, the former innocent ballerina, walks through Waterloo station in full slinky getup looking for johns, wearing a stone cold face that would intimidate O'Hara herself. It's seductive and we know she hates herself. Still, Leigh doesn't play an ounce of self pity or tragedy, she's determined to survive and get a client. In that way its very much a modern acting performance. It could be sexy, nowadays they'd try to make it sexy, but in the delicately built context of the story it's both mesmerizing and heartbreaking. And when she meets up with her not-dead-at-all love, played with sweet nobility by Robert Taylor, she tries to wipe off her lipstick when he goes to make a phone call, and the shame spills out from the screen.

The writing is very graceful (partly out of necessity to appease the almighty Production Code), at times remarkably candid and light (particularly with the earlier love scenes), and not very sentimental or stylized at all (not to say those are bad things, it's just that this film isn't). A lot of the dialogue sounds like conversation. It's romantic, but it doesn't resort to cliché or the easy way out: its tragedy is harsh and entirely unnecessary, the way it usually is in life. And Leigh's performance single handedly keeps you from forgetting Myra's story once the credits roll and you return to life in 2005. Not many actresses have that power. I only wish I could have seen what she would have done with less sorrow in her own life.


68 of 78 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I walked across Waterloo bridge last night!!!! letjb
Whom would you cast today? dafydd71
Hairstyles aren't right -- are they? DonnaLevin
Favourite Scenes?? faeriesrus
Has anybody seen the color version of this movie? Capeman
Can anyone give me the answer? chfreetalk
Discuss Waterloo Bridge (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?