7.8/10
8,223
92 user 15 critic

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

Passed | | Drama, Romance, War | 17 May 1940 (USA)
During World War I, believing her fiance to be dead, a young ballerina loses her job and is forced to turn to prostitution.

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Writers:

S.N. Behrman (screen play), Hans Rameau (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of courtesan and dance-hall girl Emma Hamilton, including her relationships with Sir William Hamilton and Admiral Horatio Nelson and her rise and fall, set during the Napoleonic Wars.

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Alan Mowbray
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An aging actress travels to Rome with her husband; after he suddenly dies during the flight, she begins a passionate affair with a young gigolo.

Director: José Quintero
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Warren Beatty, Coral Browne
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together before the trial and if the ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dean
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Leslie Banks, Laurence Olivier
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

At the height of the Roman Civil War, a young Cleopatra meets a middle-aged Julius Caesar, who teaches her how to rule Egypt.

Director: Gabriel Pascal
Stars: Claude Rains, Vivien Leigh, Stewart Granger
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman unhappy in her passionless marriage leaves her husband for a younger and more ardent lover.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Kenneth More, Eric Portman
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A brash young American aristocrat attending Oxford University gets a chance to prove himself and win the heart of his antagonist's sister.

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Robert Taylor, Vivien Leigh, Lionel Barrymore
Camille (1936)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A Parisian courtesan must choose between the young man who loves her and the callous baron who wants her, even as her own health begins to fail.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
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
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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

Director: Tim Whelan
Stars: Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A prostitute's self-loathing makes her reluctant to marry an idealistic soldier during World War One.

Director: James Whale
Stars: Mae Clarke, Douglass Montgomery, Doris Lloyd
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Leda Nicova ... Marie
Florence Baker ... Beatrice
Margery Manning Margery Manning ... Mary
Frances MacInerney 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

Taglines:

"Gone With the Wind's" Tempestuous "Scarlett O'Hara"! Romantic Robert Taylor! Exciting Together! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El puente de Waterloo See more »

Filming Locations:

Bath, Somerset, England, UK See more »

Edit

Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,111
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Vivien Leigh wanted Laurence Olivier to play Roy Cronin. MGM however insisted he'd play Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the movie, Roy asks his driver to let him off when they reach Waterloo Bridge so that he can walk across, and have the driver pick him up at the other end. The film proper is a flashback that takes place during his stroll. But in the final shot, when they should be driving away from the bridge, we see them starting to drive across it. See more »

Quotes

Roy Cronin: Goodbye, little sentimentalist.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Also shown in computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: 20 Fan Programmers (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Smiles
(1917) (uncredited)
Music by Lee S. Roberts
Lyrics by J. Will Callahan
Played as dance music in the Candlelight Club
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Chaos of a life turned on its head
27 April 2005 | by mercybellSee 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.


95 of 107 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 92 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed