The Gentle Sex

  • Film
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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.

Release details

Duration: 93 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Leslie Howard
Screenwriter: Moie Charles
Cast: Rosamund John
Joan Greenwood
Lilli Palmer
Joan Gates
Jean Gillie
Joyce Howard
Barbara Waring
Leslie Howard
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