Monday, December 29, 2008

Auld Lang Syne - Waterloo Bridge (1940)

To get us ready to say farewell to 2008 and welcome 2009, here's a lovely version of "Auld Lang Syne" used in "Waterloo Bridge" (1940) with Robert Taylor and Vivien Leigh. Should auld acqaintance be forgot? I think not. Thanks for your company this year. See you in 2009.

16 comments:

The Maiden said...

That is such a beautiful scene, and I'm very much looking forward to this movies dvd release. About time, really!

See you in 2009, and may you have a great New Year's Eve.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks, Maiden. Happy New Year to you.

Raquelle said...

What a beautiful clip. Thanks for sharing it. Have a great New Year's Jacqueline!

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thanks, Raquelle. Happy 2009!

Laura said...

Oh, how incredibly gorgeous. Love the shadows on the wall. Two of the most beautiful actors ever. I have to see that movie in 2009. :)

And I couldn't help thinking at the back of my mind that it's unlikely anyone could turn out all the lights at a large gathering these days, because it would violate safety codes or something...grin.

Happy New Year,
Laura

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Your observation about safety codes made me laugh. You're absolutely right. Today we'd have less romance and more litigation.

Happy New Year, Laura.

Moira Finnie said...

This is one of the most romantic scenes in movies. Thank you so much for posting this clip. Vivien Leigh broke my heart in this movie. And I can't wait to have her break it all over next time I see Waterloo Bridge again.

Isn't the emotional range of Mervyn LeRoy's directorial career from the early '30s when he made so many raucous knockabout movies full of Depression-era cynicism through the '40s full blown romanticism astounding?

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

I love your observation about Mervyn LeRoy's directorial career. Usually we drift the other way, don't we, from romanticism to cynicism as we age? LeRoy seems to reflect the eras in which he made these films. The war, at least through the eyes of many old movie fans, did ironically seem a romantic time to be alive. I wonder how much the urgency of wartime had to do with this, as opposed to the grinding, seemingly never-ending Depression. We somehow believed that lives should be lived to the fullest under the tension of war, to live for the moment. Was anybody living for the moment during the Depression, or just waiting, praying for the moment to pass?

I'd love to explore and discuss more about LeRoy's films sometime.

kittypackard said...

Moira and Jackqueline? Those were fantastic comments! I simply couldn't agree more about the wartime mentality: the urgency of life and the romanticism that springs from such emotions.

What's interesting to note is that Romanticism, in the technical sense of the word relating to the actual Romantic movement back in the 19th century, had as one of it's key ideas that of nationalism-- patriotism. It seems as though the two have always been linked.

And on the matter of Mr. LeRoy? I feel he is one of the most forgotten and neglected of the old Hollywood masters. From Waterloo Bridge to Random Harvest to Mister Roberts to Gypsy-- his work was exciting and terrifically diverse.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Welcome, KittyPackard, and thanks for your interesting note on the tie between the 19th century Romantic movement and nationalism/patriotism. It's a dynamic that's been around a long time, I guess.

LeRoy's career certainly was diverse. Good to hear from a LeRoy fan.

Moira Finnie said...

I can definitely see how Romanticism as a 19th century concept affected Hollywood movies. Looking at the writers who influenced American movies because they blended this idea of a physical life having a metaphysical meaning, and having that meaning acted out in film there are (like it or not) Byron, George Bernard Shaw, May Wollstonecraft, Bram Stoker, Vicki Baum, Fannie Hurst, Edna Ferber, Lloyd Douglas, Margaret Kennedy, Bronte, Tolstoy, and how many more? How few of these writers--great or small--have been recognized for their contributions to this aspect of popular culture?

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Moira, that's an interesting idea, and an impressive list of authors. We might also think about Hollywood's taking from popular rather than classic literature, whether from the 19th or early 20th centuries. At some point Bronte drifted into Steinbeck and Tolstoy wandered into James Hilton. Hollywood loved novels.

You're right about the influence these writers had for screenwriters at this time. I love the ideas you commenters bring to the table.

I wonder if it was Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett who first caused a shift that eventually led to a drifting away from 19th century romanticism in film.

Thom said...

The studios seem to have recognized the suitability of the hardboiled style and gritty content of Chandler and Hammett for established film genres and adapted them accordingly. I wonder if World War II and the post-war era might have had more to do with Hollywood's shift from the old romanticism on film than any particular writer(s).

On Mervyn LeRoy's versatility (sounds like the name of a cologne), let's remember that he also directed (or co-directed, depending on how you want to look at it) a musical, Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), right after making a gangster film, Little Caesar (1931) and a social problem picture, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932). In his autobiography, he proudly noted that he made almost every type of picture in the course of his career. The old studio system may have made that possible, but he had to have the guts, tact, and talent to pull it off.

I'm enjoying these discussions. No wonder I love your blog, Jacqueline.

Happy New Year.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thank you, Thom. What I love about this blog is people like you and all the commenters who talk about a director's resume, 19th century history, literature, and philosophy, as part of what they notice about an old movie. I just sit here at the virtual receptionist's desk and smile.

You've pointed out interesting variations in LeRoy's films. I suppose the studio system, as you suggest, was a huge part of this, but not every director had the chops to do everything so well.

World War II as being influence fy the romantic past or bursting romantic balloons in a new wave of realism? We seem to have come full circle.

leigh said...

Hi! I just came across your blog! Wow! It's impressive. Thanks for including VL! If you ever want to publish another VL related post, let me know and I'll help you out! Adding to my blog roll.

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Thank you, Leigh. Vivien Leigh was certainly a fascinating actress. I hope everyone will check out your blog.