DirectorCurtis Bernhardt Music directorConrad Salinger LanguageEnglish
WriterRobert E. Sherwood, S. N. Behrman, Paul H. Rameau, George Froeschel, Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, Charles Lederer Release dateMay 9, 1956 (1956-05-09) ScreenplayS. N. Behrman, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Charles Lederer, George Froeschel, Paul H. Rameau CastLeslie Caron (Gaby), John Kerr (Gregory Y. Wendell), Cedric Hardwicke (Mr. Edgar Carrington), Taina Elg (Elsa), Margalo Gillmore (Mrs. Helen Carrington), Scott Marlowe (Jan) Similar moviesDr. No, You Only Live Twice, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Kingsman: The Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only
In this adaptation of the play "Waterloo Bridge," Gaby (Leslie Caron) is an elegant French ballerina who is performing in World War II-era London. There, a chance encounter introduces her to Gregory Wendell (John Kerr), a passionate young soldier. Gaby warms to him over their day together, and the two besotted young lovers agree to marry as soon as Gregory returns from service. But when Gaby discovers that her fiance has died in battle, she hopelessly turns to prostitution.
Gaby is a 1956 drama film made by MGM. It is the third version of the play Waterloo Bridge, previously made into films in 1931 and 1940. It is the only version of the play made in color, and the least faithful to it. Not only the story but the names of the characters were also changed. Unlike the 1931 and 1940 versions, this film ends happily.
This version was directed by Curtis Bernhardt and produced by Edwin H. Knopf. The screenplay was by Albert Hackett, Frances Goodrich and Charles Lederer, based on the screenplay of Waterloo Bridge by S. N. Behrman, Paul H. Rameau and George Froeschel. All three versions were based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood.
The film stars Leslie Caron as Gaby and John Kerr with Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Taina Elg and Margalo Gillmore.
Gaby (Caron) is a ballet dancer in 1944 London who runs into corporal Gregory Wendell (Kerr) while rushing to catch the bus. Greg is mesmerized by Gaby and goes to the ballet to see her on stage, but Gaby wants nothing to do with Greg. He persists, however, and by the end of the day, she agrees to marry him. Before they can marry, however, there is a mountain of red tape and Greg ships out while promising to marry Gaby on his return. When she hears that he has been killed, she makes herself available to anyone who wants her. This version, however, changed the ending even more drastically than the 1940 one, by allowing Gaby and Greg to reunite and live happily ever after.
Gaby (Caron) is a ballet dancer in 1944 London who runs into corporal Gregory Wendell (Kerr) while rushing to catch the bus. Greg is mesmerized by Gaby and goes to the ballet to see her on stage, but Gaby wants nothing to do with Greg. He persists, and by the end of the day, she agrees to marry him.
Before they can marry, there is a mountain of red tape and Greg is shipped out suddenly for the D-Day landing, promising to marry her on his return. When she hears that he has been killed, Gaby becomes a prostitute as the only way to support herself (as in Waterloo Bridge). When a miracle happens, and he comes back to life, Gaby keeps telling Greg that she cant marry him, and he cant guess the correct reason. When she finally tells him, he is shocked speechless for a very long time and she runs away into a bombing raid.
Greg drives after her in his fathers car, then has to continue the pursuit on foot. He yells at her to "have a heart I am crippled." Just as a V-1s engine stops, indicating an imminent explosion, he tells Gaby to duck into a doorway, saving her life. He says, "If you had died just now, I would never have been able to love anyone else." Gaby asks how he could possibly love her after what circumstances had forced her to do, but he says, "Lets forget the terrible things this war made us do."
Other Plot Differences
This version benefits from being made after D-Day and after the inconceivable horror of the V-1 attacks, both of which modern audiences could relate to at the time of this films release. Although 1956s adaptation lacked the artistic merit of the 1931 and 1940 versions, there is much to like in it. The war was over, and the miserable atmosphere of hopelessness of 1940 was replaced by an air of optimism.
According to MGM records the film earned $647,000 in the US and Canada and $710,000 elsewhere, resulting in a loss of $1,356,000.
Waterloo Bridge (1940). Mr Imperium (1951). John Kerr appears in Gaby and Tea and Sympathy. Leslie Caron appears in Gaby and Daddy Long Legs. Leslie Caron appears in Gaby and An American in Paris.