Waterloo Bridge (1940)

103 mins | Melodrama | 17 May 1940

Director:

Mervyn LeRoy

Producer:

Sidney Franklin

Cinematographer:

Joseph Ruttenberg

Editor:

George Boemler

Production Designer:

Cedric Gibbons

Production Company:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Full page view
HISTORY

According to a news item in HR on 18 Sep 1939, Selznick-International had just closed a deal with Universal to purchase the rights to Robert Sherwood's play. According to news items in DV , after M-G-M obtained the rights to the play, they negotiated with Laurence Olivier to play the male lead in this picture, but Olivier's prior commitment to Warner Bros. to make The Prime Minister prevented his appearance. This picture marked Vivien Leigh's first performance after her success in Gone with the Wind (see above). In materials contained in the MPAA/PCA Files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen cautioned M-G-M to eliminate all details of prostitution in the film and any suggestion that "Lady Margaret" may have condoned "Myra's" actions as a prostitute. The British Board of Film Censors filed a formal protest with Breen regarding the scenes in the picture depicting air raids over London. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Cinematography (Black-and-White) and Music (Original Score) categories. For other films based on Robert E. Sherwood's play, See Entry for the 1931 film Waterloo Bridge ... More Less

According to a news item in HR on 18 Sep 1939, Selznick-International had just closed a deal with Universal to purchase the rights to Robert Sherwood's play. According to news items in DV , after M-G-M obtained the rights to the play, they negotiated with Laurence Olivier to play the male lead in this picture, but Olivier's prior commitment to Warner Bros. to make The Prime Minister prevented his appearance. This picture marked Vivien Leigh's first performance after her success in Gone with the Wind (see above). In materials contained in the MPAA/PCA Files at the AMPAS Library, Joseph I. Breen cautioned M-G-M to eliminate all details of prostitution in the film and any suggestion that "Lady Margaret" may have condoned "Myra's" actions as a prostitute. The British Board of Film Censors filed a formal protest with Breen regarding the scenes in the picture depicting air raids over London. The film received Academy Award nominations in the Cinematography (Black-and-White) and Music (Original Score) categories. For other films based on Robert E. Sherwood's play, See Entry for the 1931 film Waterloo Bridge . More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
20 Nov 39
p. 6.
Daily Variety
10 May 40
p. 4.
Film Daily
16 May 40
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 39
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Jan 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 40
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Mar 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
11 May 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jul 44
p. 1, 9
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jul 44
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 44
p. 1.
Motion Picture Daily
14 May 40
p. 9.
Motion Picture Herald
20 Apr 40
p. 39.
Motion Picture Herald
18 May 40
p. 48.
New York Times
17 May 40
p. 23.
Variety
15 May 40
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Frances MacInerney
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Mervyn LeRoy Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir assoc
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
Men's cost
MUSIC
Mus score
SOUND
Rec dir
DANCE
Ballet staging
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Waterloo Bridge by Robert E. Sherwood (New York, 6 Jan 1930).
DETAILS
Release Date:
17 May 1940
Production Date:
late January--18 March 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Loew's Inc.
Copyright Date:
15 May 1940
Copyright Number:
LP9661
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
103
Length(in reels):
11
Country:
United States
PCA No:
6168
SYNOPSIS

On his way to France to fight in World War II, Colonel Roy Cronin stops his cab on London's Waterloo Bridge and reflects on the past: It is 1914 and air raid sirens screech as a group of young girls hurry past, seeking shelter. One drops her purse and Roy helps its owner, Myra Lester, a beautiful ballet dancer, to retrieve it. They seek shelter together and a whirlwind wartime courtship follows, resulting in Roy asking Myra to marry him. Before the ceremony can be performed, however, Roy is called to the front and Myra is fired for her impetuousness by Madame Olga Kirowa, the troupe's tyranical ballet mistress. When Myra's friend Kitty sticks up for her, Madame Kirowa also fires her. Unable to find work in another ballet or show, the two dancers soon find themselves broke and hungry. One afternoon, Myra is supposed to meet Roy's aristocratic mother for the first time. While waiting, Myra sees a notice about Roy's death in the newspaper and faints. When Lady Margaret arrives, Myra cannot tell her the terrible news, and her erratic behavior shocks and angers Roy's mother, who leaves in disgust. Myra then falls ill and lies close to death from grief. To earn money to cover her friend's medical expenses, Kitty drifts into street walking. When Myra recovers, she is touched by her friend's sacrifice, and with no desire to live, she, too, becomes 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 ... +


On his way to France to fight in World War II, Colonel Roy Cronin stops his cab on London's Waterloo Bridge and reflects on the past: It is 1914 and air raid sirens screech as a group of young girls hurry past, seeking shelter. One drops her purse and Roy helps its owner, Myra Lester, a beautiful ballet dancer, to retrieve it. They seek shelter together and a whirlwind wartime courtship follows, resulting in Roy asking Myra to marry him. Before the ceremony can be performed, however, Roy is called to the front and Myra is fired for her impetuousness by Madame Olga Kirowa, the troupe's tyranical ballet mistress. When Myra's friend Kitty sticks up for her, Madame Kirowa also fires her. Unable to find work in another ballet or show, the two dancers soon find themselves broke and hungry. One afternoon, Myra is supposed to meet Roy's aristocratic mother for the first time. While waiting, Myra sees a notice about Roy's death in the newspaper and faints. When Lady Margaret arrives, Myra cannot tell her the terrible news, and her erratic behavior shocks and angers Roy's mother, who leaves in disgust. Myra then falls ill and lies close to death from grief. To earn money to cover her friend's medical expenses, Kitty drifts into street walking. When Myra recovers, she is touched by her friend's sacrifice, and with no desire to live, she, too, becomes 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. 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. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.