Seth Parker takes in Robbie Turner and protects him from his cruel father Rube. When the father disappears, Seth intends to raise Robbie as his own son. The vindictive father attacks Mary ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.
When his fiancée Valentine dumps him, prominent lawyer Geoffrey Sherwood goes on a bender and winds up married to a stranger, Miriam Brady. They decide to give their marriage a chance. ... See full summary »
Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »
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
As this picture unfolds on the screen, you will find no maudlin, mushy, run-of-the-mill story, but a triumph of human emotion depicting the glamour of an all-conquering love in the sordid surroundings of a great city. (Print Ad- The Castilian, ((Castile, NY)) 8 October 1931)
The film is an adaption of the original Broadway production of "Waterloo Bridge" by Robert E. Sherwood opened at the Fulton Theatre on January 6, 1930 and ran for 64 performances. Sherwood had based his play on his own wartime experiences, including a chance meeting during a 1918 air raid with an American chorus girl turned streetwalker. 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 »
Did he say he'd marry me?
Well, not quite. But, he was coming to it though when you busted in and interrupted him. He's yours, I tell ya.
What if I don't want him?
Well, what if you don't? What's the odds? All you have to do is go through with the ceremony, collect his separation allowance and live in luxury. Then, there's your insurance, if he gets knocked off in action.
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Sweet, not saccharine, daring, and some sharply fresh performances
Waterloo Bridge (1931)
An amazing movie. Set in London during World War I, directed by the man who directed the original (and also amazing) Frankenstein, and with photography by the less known but first rate Arthur Edeson (Frankenstein, yes, but also Casablanca, no less). And throw in an astonishing actress, Mae Clarke, and you can see why it doesn't falter. She plays a struggling chorus girl and prostitute with snappy, lively believability. The lead male, Douglass Montgomery, playing a sweet hearted American soldier, is also a surprise face, totally charming, a perfect complement to Clarke. As characters, the young soldier's bright optimism brings out the best in the struggling but good hearted street girl.
The story is fast, and not completely predictable, and has a blow-out of an ending, really nice. Though set in the teens it feels modern (maybe too modern, historically). I never knew that London had a kind of Blitz experience in WWI, just as they would a decade after this film was released, and looking it up I found the Germans used zeppelins over London in the first war much the same was as they did (with planes) in WWII--to demoralize the civilian population. It adds tense excitement to the film throughout, and to the last scenes in particular, even if it isn't completely realistic (for some reason people don't scramble for cover even as the bombs are being dropped, maybe to portray that stiff upper lip thing).
Is this just a silly romance? No, no way, not when the two actors in it are so fresh and convincing, giving sparkling, nuanced performances miles away from the stiffness we associate with early sound films (or with many silent movies). This is a first rate and fast movie and honest, only 79 minutes long, with fully formed soundtrack and solid supporting cast (including a young Betty Davis, who is already confident and familiar as the sister of the leading man). The LeRoy remake of 1940 is a testimony to the strength of the story (and it is also really good). But if you want to see an early gem on its own terms, here it is. Highly recommended.
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