Howard's silly framework for this account of the initiation of seven women into the army is annoying and patronising; but beneath the sugary surface there is a frank acknowledgment of the changes wrought by the war. Under the inspired leadership of a wily, sweet-sucking Glaswegian (John), the group grasp their opportunities to become gunners and lorry-drivers with both hands, and unlike the women in the more widely lauded Millions Like Us, without the approval and support of men. The documentary realism necessary to fulfil the film's propagandist function is extended by Howard into a welcoming, if rather bemused celebration of the new equality between the sexes. A fascinating barometer of the changing moral climate of the '40s.
The Gentle Sex
Cast and crew