Sunday, July 26, 2009

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Today's review is Mervyn LeRoy's remake of WATERLOO BRIDGE. The original was  released in : 1931.  It stared Mae Clarke and Kent Douglas. It was based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood.

The 1940 version has the following cast:

Vivien Leigh: Myra Lester

Robert Taylor: Capt. Roy Cronin

Lucile Watson: Lady Margaret Cronin

As air raid sirens sound, British army colonel Roy (Robert Taylor) finds himself on Waterloo Bridge, the very spot where he fell in love with ballerina Myra (Viven Leigh) on the eve of the previous war.

He was immediately smitten with Myra. They spend about 24 hrs together and he asks her to marry him. Caught up in a whirlwind romance she agrees to marry him. Before their relationship had a chance to flower, however, he was called away to the front, unaware she was subsequently fired from her ballet troupe. A mistake in the newspaper lists Roy as having been Killed in Action. This leaves Myra heartbroken and since she can not find work she is left on the streets to work as a prostitute.

One year later, Roy returns to London, and the first sight that he sees upon getting off the train is Myra, who has come to pick up soldiers. He believes that she has come to meet him, and knowing nothing of her life in the past year, takes her home to his family estate in Scotland.

Myra is stunned when she sees Roy at the station, but agrees to go to Scotland and meet his mother (again).

When meeting Myra, Roy's mother is thrilled that Roy's has decided to marry her. Although Myra tries to convince herself that they can be happy, she soon realizes that her past will ruin Roy's life and, after confessing all to his mother, she runs away. Roy follows, despite Kitty's revelations about Myra, but she eludes him and kills herself by throwing herself in front of an onrushing truck on Waterloo Bridge. Clutching the good luck charm that he had once given Myra, Roy leaves for the front.

Problems with the movie:

MY first problem is the women's wardrobe in this movie. Kitty and Myra are not wearing clothing of the WWI period.

Second, their hair is not fixed correctly either. They are wearing their hair down. It should at least be put up in a bun!

Third, I do not think that they had Air Raids in WWI!

Finally, I do not like Maria Ouspenskaya as Mme. Olga. She is very stiff and wooden.

I really like the film overall. Watch it and the original if you get a chance.