Sunday, September 2, 2012

Waterloo Bridge

To the horror of the Hays Office, waifish Mae Clarke is a streetwalker on the eponymous bridge, picking up tommies on leave. Pursued by the sensitive (and rather prettier) Douglass, she makes up in earnestness for what she lacks in subtlety, and it is to the credit of both that they carry the thin story, predicated entirely on his unwavering ardour and her unflagging lack of self-respect. Whale conjures WWI London with a restrained sense of authenticity, and his generosity to the character parts is amply rewarded, particularly during a countryside sojourn with the soldier-boy’s parents and sister, a brief Bette Davis, swan-like in evening dress, and snazzy in jodhpurs.

d James Whale p Carl Laemmle Jr sc Benn W. Levy, Tom Reed ph Arthur Edeson ed Clarence Kolster ad Charles D. Hall m Val Burton cast Mae Clarke, Kent Douglass (Douglass Montgomery), Doris Lloyd, Ethel Griffies, Frederick Kerr, Enid Bennett, Bette Davis
(1931, USA, 81min, b/w)
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