Gaby

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.

GabyThis 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, 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 can’t marry him, and he can’t 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 father’s car, then has to continue the pursuit on foot. He yells at her to “have a heart — I am crippled.” Just as a V-1’s 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, “Let’s forget the terrible things this war made us do.”

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