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TALK ABOUT IT!!

Waterloo Bridge on TCM Vivian Leigh has whirlwind romance, can’t get married before fiancĂ© ships out. Thinks he’s dead, becomes prostitute.

Of course he’s alive. Comes back and finds her tarted up but doesn’t put 2&2 together. Will he still want his fallen woman?

Spoiler alert! She tells future MiL, runs away instead of telling fiancé. He goes to her roommate and they search, the places she worked

Obvs she is on bridge where they met, he doesn’t think of that. She jumps in front of a truck. Whores must die, even if done as last resort

I was drawn in by a movie last night at 1am, so I did the logical thing and tweeted while watching. This one had SO MANY of my least favourite plot threads!

  • immediate/undying love with very little reason given for the connection
  • dead soldier fakeout
  • promiscuous girls don’t get a happily ever after
  • missed connections between characters (GO TO THE BRIDGE WHERE YOU MET!!)

and my all-time least favourite:

  • Keeping information from the Significant Other and making their choice for them

Seven Pounds did this, Will Smith decided to end his own life in order to give his heart to the woman who loved him, the woman who just possibly would rather have had him alive and lived out the remainder of her own short life together instead of knowing he’d be alive if it weren’t for her. Benjamin Button pulled a similar punk move.

In the early stages of the movie I was pretty sure there would be soldier fakeout death, it was pretty inevitable. I was actually surprised that the movie took on prostitution and thought it did a decent job showing that Myra and her friend Kitty were desperate for money and had no one to turn to. Once Cronin (the love of Myra’s life after being together for 24 hours a few years before) returns Myra struggles between hoping to have her dreams come true, but knowing it could all end because of her actions. INSTEAD OF TELLING HIM why she’s wearing a shiny dress and hanging out at the train station as soldiers arrive she keeps quiet. INSTEAD OF TELLING HIM that her meeting with his mom went poorly and as a result she was desperate in order to survive, she says nothing. Later, at his home she tells his mother (well, not specifics) BUT DOES NOT TELL CRONIN. Instead she makes his mother promise not to tell. THE MOTHER DOES NOT TELL. Which is worse Myra, suspecting Cronin might reject you if he’s told, or jumping in front of a truck? And do you really think so little of Cronin? Why not give him the chance to step up? Surely, even in 1940 it could be *possible* that he’d forgive you. But no, save his delicate feelings…. And they weren’t really saved anyway, he tracks down Kitty, they make the rounds looking for Myra, and it’s pretty clear what she’d been up to.

I get that the movie is meant to be tragic, but it was filmed in 1940, and clearly is meant to both give hope and instruct it’s audience. The reputation of whirlwind romance leading to love that endures though hardship is unquestioned. But ladies, becoming a prostitute out of desperation IS NOT OKAY. Myra bears sole responsibility in the movie for fucking up her happily ever after,. For the 1940s audience, if she hadn’t been a prostitute all would have been well. For the modern audience, blame is shared, but Myra still is responsible for ending her own life and the relationship. My suspicion is that Corbin suspected she’d had a difficult time while he was away, but he didn’t follow through and ask for specifics. Maybe he thought they had a lifetime to talk things over? FOOLISH MAN.

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