There were at least two versions of Waterloo Bridge. The 40s version with Robert Taylor and Vivienne Leigh and the 30s version with Mae Clark and Douglas Montgomery. The Taylor- Leigh version was much more romantic while the Clark -Douglas pairing actually tried to fight off sentiment. A sort of tell it like it is deal. Set in world war 1 the 30s version has grit. It’s young hero suffering from a bad case of first love when he meets the doomed but quick witted Myra on the bridge and walks her back to her grim boarding house.
What follows is banter. Lot’s of it. He is a wild eyed, young idealist and she is a tough, take no prisoners kind of a girl but with a heart of gold. Because she knows the score she does everything she can to resist his charms but eventually gives in and marries him. This ‘Waterloo Bridge” is very different from it’s more famous 40s counterpart. The main characters are floored from the beginning. The treatment of the characters and of the storyline is in your face. The second version ,however, sees Myra as a young ballerina falling hopelessly in love with a handsome officer during the second world war and agreeing to marry him straight off. But their wedding plans hit a hurdle when there is no justice of the peace to do the deed in time and he must return to duty leaving Myra to fend for herself having lost her place in the corps de ballet because of her determination to spend as much time with him as possible.The difference is that here Myra is sweet and innocent from the outset and the change in her circumstances completely unravel her. To continue with more of the storyline here would give the ending away for those who have never seen or heard of either film. Take the time to watch and get yourself completely lost in the romance and tragedy of it all. Same story different wars. So what’s changed?