Waterloo Bridge (1940 film)


“Do you think you will remember me now? I think so I think so. For the rest of my life.”

Another classic movie, a love story and the role of women.

The Plot of the movie:
The film opens after Britain’s declaration of World War II. Roy Cronin, an army colonel, is being driven to London’s Waterloo Station en route to France, and briefly alights on Waterloo Bridge to reminisce about events which occurred during the First World War when he met Myra Lester, a ballerina, whom he had planned to marry. While Roy looks at a good luck charm, a billiken that she had given him, the story unfolds as a flashback.

Roy and Myra serendipitously meet on Waterloo Bridge and strike up an immediate rapport. On parting, Myra invites Roy to attend that evening’s ballet performance. Roy, already enamored with the ballerina, cancels his dinner appointment with a fellow officer to attend the ballet. At the show’s end, Roy sends a note to Myra to join him for dinner. The note is intercepted by the directress of the ballet troupe, Madame Olga Kirowa who forbids Myra from continuing her relationship with Roy. Madame Olga ultimately learns of Myra’s disobedience and dismisses her from the ballet troupe. Myra and another dancer, Kitty, who has sided with her friend is also asked to leave. Both young women then join together, sharing a small apartment, and look for work.

Hours before his planned marriage to Myra, Roy is suddenly deployed to active military duty in France, but assures Myra that his family will look after her and safeguard her welfare while he is away. Subsequently, Myra and Roy’s mother, Lady Margaret Cronin, arrange to meet at a fashionable restaurant; their first introduction to each other.

Awaiting Lady Cronin’s very belated arrival, Myra scans a newspaper and faints on seeing the name of her fiancé Roy in a list of war dead. Dazed by grief and proffered wine, she relates poorly to Roy’s mother in a session of awkward miscommunication. She is reticent and apprehensive in the presence of the aristocratic, yet kindly Lady Cronin and does not disclose her knowledge of Roy’s reported death. Lady Cronin gracefully retreats, baffled by Myra’s behavior. Myra, leaving the restaurant, faints again.

Unable to find employment, Kitty and Myra face a dire financial situation. Belatedly, Myra, who believed that Kitty was working as a stage performer, learns her friend has been working as a prostitute to support both of them. Too proud to reach out to Roy’s mother for help, the heartbroken Myra finds it necessary to join her friend Kitty in the same profession. A year passes.

What next transpires is the tragic denouement of love lost, found, and then lost forever.

While offering herself to departing and arriving soldiers at Waterloo Station, Myra catches sight of an arriving Roy, who is alive and well-he’d been wounded and interned in a POW camp for year. A reconciliation occurs—a joyous one for Roy, a bittersweet one for Myra. The couple visit Roy’s mother at their estate in Scotland, where Myra, guilt-ridden, is confronted by the impossibility of a happy marriage to Roy. Her career of prostitution has made her feel she is beyond redemption, unworthy of Roy’s love. Myra discloses her story to Roy’s mother, who is sympathetic, but Myra tells her she cannot do Roy the injustice and then leaves Roy a goodbye note, and goes away ‘forever’, returning to London. Roy follows, and with the aid of Kitty, looks for her, finally discovering the truth in the process. Meanwhile, Myra, depressed, reminiscing on and then traversing Waterloo Bridge, the location where the love affair began, takes her own life by walking into the path of a moving truck.

The film returns to the ‘present’, where the older Roy is reminiscing about Myra professing her sincere love for only him. He tucks the charm into his coat pocket, gets into his car, and leaves.