IMDb > Waterloo Bridge (1940)
Waterloo Bridge
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Waterloo Bridge (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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7.8/10   5,899 votes »
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Up 266% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
S.N. Behrman (screen play) &
Hans Rameau (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Waterloo Bridge on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 May 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
During WWI, believing her fiancé to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more »
NewsDesk:
(29 articles)
Una Stubbs's cultural highlights
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 28 December 2013, 4:06 PM, PST)

Vivien Leigh – a life on screen
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 22 November 2013, 4:07 PM, PST)

Gwtw Screen Legend Would Have Turned 100 Years Old Today
 (From Alt Film Guide. 5 November 2013, 7:53 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Chaos of a life turned on its head See more (80 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Vivien Leigh ... Myra

Robert Taylor ... Roy Cronin
Lucile Watson ... Lady Margaret Cronin
Virginia Field ... Kitty
Maria Ouspenskaya ... Madame 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
Margery Manning ... Mary
Frances MacInerney ... Violet
Eleanor Stewart ... Grace
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lowden Adams ... The Duke's Butler (uncredited)
Harry Allen ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Jimmy Aubrey ... Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)
Phyllis Barry ... Second Girl at Estate Dance (uncredited)
Colin Campbell ... Groom (uncredited)
Rita Carlyle ... Flower Woman on Bridge (uncredited)

Leo G. Carroll ... Policeman (uncredited)
David Cavendish ... Generous Man at Estate Dance (uncredited)
David Clyde ... Barnes - Cronin's Butler (uncredited)
Kathryn Collier ... Barmaid (uncredited)
Tom Conway ... (voice) (uncredited)
Frank Dawson ... Vicar's Butler (uncredited)
Connie Emerald ... Waitress at Restaurant (uncredited)
Gilbert Emery ... Colonel at Luncheon (uncredited)
Herbert Evans ... Commissionaire (uncredited)
Maria Genardi ... Dancers' Italian Mother (uncredited)
Douglas Gordon ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Denis Green ... Sergeant on Bridge (uncredited)

Ethel Griffies ... Mrs. Clark - Landlady (uncredited)
Bobby Hale ... Taxi Driver (uncredited)
Winifred Harris ... Dowager at Estate Dance (uncredited)
Halliwell Hobbes ... Vicar at St. Matthews (uncredited)
Harold Howard ... Ticket Collector at Waterloo Station (uncredited)
Charles Irwin ... Candlelight Club Announcer (uncredited)
Bill James ... Sergeant (uncredited)
George Kirby ... Waiter (uncredited)
Eric Lonsdale ... Soldier at Waterloo Station (uncredited)
Wilfred Lucas ... Elderly Huntsman at Estate Dance (uncredited)
Dan Maxwell ... Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)
James May ... Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)
Florine McKinney ... Viola - First Girl at Estate Dance (uncredited)
Charles McNaughton ... Mack the Waiter (uncredited)
Frank Mitchell ... Father (uncredited)
Edmund Mortimer ... Dance Floor Extra (uncredited)
Leonard Mudie ... Thomas Parker - Roy's Driver (uncredited)
Judith Nelles ... Gertrude - Tart at Waterloo Station (uncredited)
Gordon Orbell ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Tempe Pigott ... Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)
John Power ... Toff's Companion (uncredited)
Elsie Prescott ... Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)
Jean Prescott ... Third Girl at Estate Dance (uncredited)
Clara Reid ... Mrs. Bassett - Estate Dance (uncredited)
Fred Sassoni ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Paul Scardon ... Backdoor Stage Doorman (uncredited)
John Graham Spacey ... British Officer at Luncheon Table (uncredited)
Wyndham Standing ... Toff (uncredited)
Harry Stubbs ... Proprietor of Eating House (uncredited)
William Tetley ... Boy Opening Taxi Door (uncredited)
Cyril Thornton ... Sergeant (uncredited)
David Thursby ... First Cockney in Air-Raid Shelter (uncredited)

Norma Varden ... Hostess at Restaurant (uncredited)
Pat Welsh ... (uncredited)
Martha Wentworth ... Tart on Bridge at the End (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ... Trailer Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
Eric Wilton ... Head Waiter at Candlelight Club (uncredited)
Robert Winkler ... Boy Delivering Flowers (uncredited)
Douglas Wood ... Vicar at Estate Dance (uncredited)
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Directed by
Mervyn LeRoy 
 
Writing credits
S.N. Behrman (screen play) &
Hans Rameau (screen play) and
George Froeschel (screen play)

Robert E. Sherwood (play "Waterloo Bridge")

Produced by
Sidney Franklin .... producer
 
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
 
Cinematography by
Joseph Ruttenberg (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Boemler (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Gile Steele (costumes: men)
Irene (uncredited)
 
Production Management
William H. Cannon .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Al Shenberg .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Urie McCleary .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Music Department
Fred Dolys .... French lyrics
Charles Hot .... lyrics
Murray Cutter .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Ernst Matray .... ballet stager
Carl 'Major' Roup .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
108 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | South Korea:All | Sweden:15 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #6168)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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 »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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:
Kitty:If I don't feel sorry for myself, who will?See more »
Soundtrack:
Comin' Thro' The RyeSee more »

FAQ

Why on earth was the film styled with clothes and hairstyles from the 1930s instead of those from 1914? It is set during WW1 but the clothes and hair are all wrong.
See more »
67 out of 77 people found the following review useful.
Chaos of a life turned on its head, 27 April 2005
Author: Mercy Bell (mercybell) from MA

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.

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