Watch Waterloo Bridge
- 1 hr 48 min
Waterloo Bridge, released in 1940, tells the story of a young dancer named Myra (Vivien Leigh) who falls in love with Roy Cronin (Robert Taylor), an army officer during World War I. The film is a dramatic portrayal of the sacrifices and heartbreak experienced by those caught up in the war, and the way that it impacted the lives of those on the home front. The story begins with Myra standing on Waterloo Bridge, reminiscing about her past. As she recalls the moments that led up to her current state, the audience is taken back in time to London, just before the outbreak of the First World War. Myra is a ballerina, recently arrived in London from the provinces, and she meets Roy by chance on Waterloo Bridge. The two are instantly attracted to each other, despite coming from different social classes, and begin a passionate love affair. But their happiness is short-lived, as Roy is called up to serve in the army. Myra is devastated, but vows to wait for him and write to him constantly. However, as the war drags on, it becomes clear that Roy may never return, and Myra is forced to confront the prospect of life alone. The film explores the ways in which the war affects the lives of those left behind, particularly women, who are forced to take on new roles and responsibilities while their husbands, brothers and sons are away. Myra struggles to find work to support herself, and ultimately takes up prostitution to make ends meet. The film doesn't glamorize this aspect of her life, but rather portrays it as a tragic outcome of the war and a desperate attempt to survive. Throughout the film, Leigh delivers a powerful performance as Myra, conveying the character's emotions with subtlety and nuance. Taylor is equally convincing as Roy, displaying a stoic bravery in the face of the horrors of war. The chemistry between the two is palpable, making the audience feel invested in their relationship and invested in their eventual fate. Another standout performance in the film comes from Lucile Watson, who plays Myra's landlady, Mrs. Hobley. Mrs. Hobley is a complex character, fiercely protective of Myra but also judgmental of her choices. Watson plays her with a combination of warmth and severity, making her a memorable presence in the film. As the war continues, Myra and Roy's fate hangs in the balance. The film builds tension as the audience waits to see if they will be reunited, or if their love will become just another casualty of war. Waterloo Bridge is a poignant and powerful film, a tribute to the men and women who were touched by the First World War, and a reminder of the ways in which it shaped the course of their lives.