Waterloo Bridge - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waterloo Bridge Reviews

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½ January 4, 2008
Above average production values for 1931. Mae Clarke should have been a bigger star, she gives a great performance. A young Bette Davis has a small role. I love the old near deaf military man. Ultimately though I never got very riveted by the story.
December 21, 2007
one of those films that my nan used to watch on a sunday afternoon.and this was the first one i actually remember liking
dietmountaindew
Super Reviewer
December 7, 2007
a highly underrated james whale flick which surpasses the tear-jerker remake starring vivien leigh and robert taylor in the 40s. most audience who's fond of the taylor/leigh production would recall the sweetened tragic romance between a military prostitute and a naive young soldier: she's the chorus girl who meets a handsome officier during a bomb raid, then love at first sight then they get engaged. the officier departs then she receive the ill-fated news of his demise. to make a living, she degenerates into a prostitute then one day she remorsely discovers her one true love survives and ready to marry her...out of personal shame, she commits suicide by being run over by a truck, then he mourns for her in the rest of his life, chic flick, beautiful with all those talks of romantic idealism, right? huh?

what about the 30s original? nothing like that sort!! our leading lady is from the wrong side of the track, doomed with her slum upbringing, she's a desceneded prostitute long before their encouter when she attempts to pick him up as a potential customer to pay for her debted rental. romantic? huh? then she falls for his boyish innocence, determinated not to ruin his life with deception of her disgraceful profession but she hides this fact with tormenting guilt. eventually our male protagonist acquires the truth of his lover, he still chooses to marry her come what may, stiffening his mind to rescue her with all his consuming passion. ironically our leading lady gets hit by a bomb right after she consents to be his spouse. how consoling. cynical to the top notch. audience wouldn't know if he should laugh or cry when it comes to the end. just chilling coldness strikes over the back of your mind.

the 30s waterloo bridge is more of a psychological drama of conflicted characters bound by the circumstance of war and social level. somehow the spirit of our leading man might be more selflessly chivalric than the dashingly gorgeous robert taylor since he accepts her being whore without contempt but only compassion. our leading woman might not be as beautiful as the feline-eyed vivien leigh, but she demonstrates more of hellish agony to suffer and live with her tainted mark. leigh does a good acting job in warerloo as well, but her prostitute is more like a feminine masochist to accomplish the male ideal of love without the contamination of reality.

if you're a cynicist with a sheer observant eye, you might enjoy the original waterloo bridge without the sparing mercy of idealized romanticism.

mae clarke is notorious for being the woman who gets hit on face by james cagney with grapes in "public enemy"...maybe she deserves much better roles in her acting career.
September 29, 2007
A piece of pre-code perfection. Mae Clarke should have been more famous, he performance is flawless. This movie heartbreaking and amazing.
½ September 20, 2007
Very odd movie. It is a bit difficult to see where exactly it fits in with the rest of the 1930s. Pre-code films are always interesting.
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