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Waterloo Bridge

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Product Description

Waterloo Bridge

Academy Award winner Vivien Leigh stars as a ballet dancer who finds her greatest happiness and deepest sorry, her life and her death on London's Waterloo Bridge.Returning from the front during World War II, Captain Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor) remembers the woman he loved. Myra Lester (Leigh--Gone With the Wind, A Streetcar Named Desire), a corps de ballet dancer stole the heart of the wealthy officer, and the two planned to marry. But when Myra misses a performance to say good-bye to Roy as he goes away to fight, she loses her job with the ballet. And then hearing that Roy has been killed in battle, Myra is left penniless and alone--and descends into a life depending on the kindness of gentlemen who frequent the bridge, a dependency that takes her self-respect and, ultimately, her life in this heart-wrenching romance.

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Mervyn LeRoy's 1940 remake of Waterloo Bridge, based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood, stars Robert Taylor as Scotsman Roy Conin, a middle-aged officer in the British army who reflects--on the eve of Britain's entry into World War II--on lost love during the last Great War. Told in flashback, Roy's ill-fated romance begins in a chance meeting with ballerina Myra Deauville (Vivien Leigh) during a London air raid. In less than two days, Roy's near-obnoxious, aristocratic self-confidence and boyish exuberance sweep Myra off her feet and she agrees to marry him before he ships out for duty in Germany. But there's no time for the wedding, and during what should be a happy first meeting with Roy's mother (Lucile Watson), Myra receives mistaken information that Roy is dead on a battleground. From there, Myra spirals downward into poverty and prostitution, until cruel fortune reveals that Roy is quite alive. While a tearjerker, Waterloo Bridge also says something about wartime conditions where women are caught between pressures of survival (especially where and when women have few options) and social values that condemn them for staying alive by any means. Told as delicately as possible, the film is directed with tasteful straightforwardness by LeRoy (Random Harvest) and the key performances by Taylor and Leigh strike exactly the right melodramatic but not bathetic pitch. Nice work, too, by Virginia Field as Myra's equally luckless friend. --Tom Keogh


Special Features

  • Theatrical trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Vivien Leigh, Robert Taylor (I), Lucile Watson, Virginia Field, Maria Ouspenskaya
  • Directors: Mervyn LeRoy
  • Writers: S.N. Behrman, Hans Rameau, George Froeschel
  • Producers: Mervyn LeRoy, Sidney Franklin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Original recording remastered, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), French (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OFOJ30
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,027 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Waterloo Bridge" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 18, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
When pressed to name her favorite of her own films, Vivien Leigh brushed aside both GONE WITH THE WIND and STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in favor of this now little-known film based on a failed 1930s stage drama of the same name: WATERLOO BRIDGE, directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Leigh had good reason for her choice. Although she was dazzling as Scarlett O'Hara and elegantly depraved as Blanche DuBois, she was never as beautifully photographed as she was in this 1940 film.
WATERLOO BRIDGE is perhaps best described as one of a number of films "with an English accent" that played to American sympathies for England in the years when England largely stood alone against Nazi Germany. The story itself has a wartime setting: beautiful ballerina Myra (Vivien Leigh) meets and falls passionately in love with officer Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor), only to be parted from him when he is called to duty during World War I. Alone and increasingly destitute, she learns that he has been killed in action--and so, broken hearted and unconcerned for herself, she drifts into prostitution, plying the world's oldest profession along Waterloo Bridge... until she experiences a horrific twist of fate.
Although Robert Taylor is a bit miscast, Leigh carries the film with a truly remarkable performance. In the opening portion of the scene, she is at the height of her youthful beauty, and cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg makes the most of it; later, when experience has hardened her, she turns the graceful charm of her earlier scenes upside down to create the bitter, brassy tart that Myra has become. The cast also features an exceptional performance by Lucile Watson as Lady Margaret and notable turns by Maria Ouspenskaya, C. Aubrey Smith, and a host of others.
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53 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Austenparker VINE VOICE on August 9, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yes, it's advertised as available - but they're imports. Not to cast aspersions upon imports, but is it so difficult for whomever owns the copyright to produce this & add a few DVD extras?
This is an amazing movie - Vivien Leigh is completely charming as Myra & gives a bravura performance. For any of the uninitiated, the story revolves around a ballerina & the serviceman she meets during a WWI air raid in a story where the Shakesperean axiom of true love & its propensity to run amok is thoroughly illustrated.
Although not the all-time greatest movie ever made, it's a splendid gem from 1940s Holywood, replete with a bit of melodrama, a bit of unreality, a lot of pathos and humanity. "Waterloo Bridge" is a classic film which is due to the movie-loving public - particularly in its virgin black & white condition. PLEASE, Hollywood, make this movie available on DVD to the public!
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "scotsladdie" on November 10, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Vivien Leigh is magnificent as Myra, the young ballet dancer who falls in love with handsome Roy Cronin, a British army officer, who has been called to duty. They met on Waterloo Bridge during an air raid and commenced dancing at the Candlelight Club where they vowed to marry. When Myra believes Roy dead, she drifts into the seedy world of prostitution after she has been dismissed from the ballet school. The newspaper report of Cronin's death turns out to be erroneous, however: Roy and Myra accidentally meet....Leigh's performance is the core of the film: she's as brilliant as she is beautiful. Her metamorphasis from a delicate, virginal and romantic girl to a lost, pitiful and pessimistic woman (due to fateful circumstances) is a stunning account of her bravura acting ability: if Scarlett O'Hara won her an Oscar and made her a star, Myra solidy confirmed her undeniable talent. All the supporting performances are splendid: Lucile Watson as Roy's aristocratic mother, Virginia Field as Kitty, Myra's loyal roommate who visits Primrose Path, and the tyrannical ballet impresario as played by the great Maria Ouspenskaya. This was Robert Taylor's favourite film and his performance ranks with his best. Robert E. Sherwood's 1930 play was filmed priorly by Universal in 1931. Mae Clarke won kudos for her interpretation of Myra, Roy was played Douglass Montgomery and Bette Davis had a bit. Hopefully, it may make it to video someday. As with Taylor, this was Leigh's personal favourite of all her films.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on March 11, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Vivien Leigh had what I firmly believe was her most wonderful role as the tragic Ballerina Myra Lester in MGM's classic "Waterloo Bridge". If one film was to be regarded as the epitome of what romance on screen should be like then this beautiful production would be it. With no use of bad language, no gross sex scenes, relying as it is on a simple but beautifully wrought story of genuine love between two very different people, it is perfect and should be a film enjoyed by all those over the generations who have loved or wish to be.
Adapted from the famous stage play "Waterloo Bridge", by Robert F. Sherwood it provided the ever lovely Vivien Leigh with one of her greatest roles ever. Made in the aftermath of her triumph as Scarlett O'Hara in the classic "Gone With The Wind", it provided the second of two classic roles for her within the space of two years. Despite winning an Oscar later in her career for her tragic role in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Vivien Leigh would always be most fondly remembered for her work in "Gone With The Wind", and "Waterloo Bridge". Here she has a very different role to the feisty Scarlett and Vivien proves herself to be more than up to the challenge. Never on screen has she been more lovely or convincing as the fragile dancer Myra who meets the man of her dreams Colonel Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor in his best role ever)in the middle of an air raid on London's Waterloo Bridge, falls into a whirlwind romance only to be seperated from him by the demands of the war which also sees her own life crumble into degradation after falsely believing him killed in action in France. Expertly directed by veteran Mervyn LeRoy famous for extracting heartfelt performances out of his actors, "Waterloo Bridge" is a wonderfully moving experience from start to finish.
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