Set in the mean streets around Waterloo Station in 1941, Gilliat's second feature is, like Millions Like Us, a populist drama commendably unpatronising in its view of the way the war left 'folks battling with themselves' at home. The simple narrative thread concerns Shelton as a young newly-wed left alone when her husband (Mills) is whisked away by the army. Unhappy, parked with in-laws, longing for the baby it didn't seem the right time to contemplate, she is fair game for a smooth spiv (Granger) proud of having bought himself medical exemption from the forces (which, ironically, it turns out he could have earned for free). But the meat of the film lies in the sleazy odyssey through the local pleasure domes (dance hall, pub, amusement arcade, hairdressing parlour, tattooist's shop) as the frantic Mills gets wind of the affair and goes AWOL to look for his wife. The hunt ends in happy reconciliation after a cleansing fist-fight between Mills and Granger (none too subtly waged to the sound of noises off from the blitz). No masterpiece, certainly, but it's often funny, sometimes touching, and always wonderfully evocative of the period.
Cast and crew