6.2/10
352
17 user 2 critic

The Gentle Sex (1943)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 23 May 1943 (UK)
This film tells the stories of seven 'gentle' British girls who decide to "do their bit" and help out during World War II.

Directors:

Leslie Howard, Maurice Elvey (uncredited)

Writers:

Moie Charles (original story and screenplay), Aimée Stuart (additional dialogue) (as Aimee Stuart) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ALL

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Categorised as a British World War II propaganda film this less known example is a superb work of morale-boosting films from mid World War 2. Well written and directed the film has a simple... See full summary »

Directors: Sidney Gilliat, Frank Launder
Stars: Patricia Roc, Gordon Jackson, Anne Crawford
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A Washington official courts a society matron who is trying to ignore the effects of World War II.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet
Stars: Edward Arnold, Fay Bainter, Richard Ney
Rationing (1944)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A village butcher bickers with the postmistress in charge of World War II ration stamps.

Director: Willis Goldbeck
Stars: Wallace Beery, Marjorie Main, Donald Meek
Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Rita Hayworth co-stars with famed recording artist Tony Martin in this musical comedy featuring the music of Andre Kostelanetz and his orchestra. Following various comic misunderstandings, ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley
Stars: Tony Martin, Rita Hayworth, Edith Fellows
The Couch (1962)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

While undergoing therapy for his problem, a serial killer continues his murderous sprees.

Director: Owen Crump
Stars: Grant Williams, Shirley Knight, Onslow Stevens
The Way Ahead (1944)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

World War II drama that follows a group of British draftees, starting with their rigorous basic training, and ending with their deployment in North Africa.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: David Niven, Stanley Holloway, James Donald
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An ex-hood hopes to start a new life under an assumed name in a small town but his past catches up with him when an old crime-buddy asks him to help with a casino heist.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Spring Byington
Red Hot Tires (1935)
Drama | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Red Hot Tires is a 1935 American crime drama film produced and distributed by Warner Bros., directed by D. Ross Lederman, and starring Lyle Talbot and Mary Astor.

Director: D. Ross Lederman
Stars: Lyle Talbot, Mary Astor, Roscoe Karns
Spitfire (1942)
Adventure | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Aircraft designer/patriot R. J. Mitchell, alarmed at growing German militarism, works to perfect a defense against the German Messerschmidt at the cost of his health.

Director: Leslie Howard
Stars: Leslie Howard, David Niven, Rosamund John
Wildcat Bus (1940)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A small bus company run by a father/daughter team comes under attack by a group of "wildcatters" who want to put the company out of business so they can take over the profitable Los Angeles-to-San Francisco route.

Director: Frank Woodruff
Stars: Fay Wray, Charles Lang, Paul Guilfoyle
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Psychiatrist finds herself falling for her patient.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Ann Harding, Herbert Marshall, Maureen O'Sullivan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Businessman Gerald Axton goes to his ranch to rest, having had a near-heart-attack due to business worries. But while there (with his female assistant who makes his heart flutter as much as... See full summary »

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: Lionel Atwill, Irene Hervey, Raymond Walburn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joan Gates Joan Gates ... Gwen Hayden
Jean Gillie ... Dot Hopkins
Joan Greenwood ... Betty Miller
Joyce Howard ... Anne Lawrence
Rosamund John ... Maggie Fraser
Lilli Palmer ... Erna Debruski
Barbara Waring Barbara Waring ... Joan Simpson
John Justin ... Flying Officer David Sheridan
Elliott Mason Elliott Mason ... Mrs. Fraser (as Elliot Mason)
Tony Bazell Tony Bazell ... Ted (as Anthony Bazell)
Frederick Leister Frederick Leister ... Colonel Lawrence
Everley Gregg Everley Gregg ... Miss Simpson
John Laurie ... Scots Corporal
Mary Jerrold Mary Jerrold ... Mrs. Sheridan
Meriel Forbes Meriel Forbes ... Junior Commander Davis
Edit

Storyline

During the War seven women from very different backgrounds find themselves together in the Auxiliary Territorial Services. They are soon drilling, driving lorries, and manning ack-ack batteries. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

propaganda | world war two | See All (2) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 May 1943 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

7 flickor See more »

Filming Locations:

Carlisle, Cumbria, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title sequence begins with a self-mocking message in the style of a needlework sampler: 1838 THE GENTLE SEX In whatever station in life a woman is placed, a spirit of modesty, humility, obedience & submission will always be required of her...

1938 ONWARDS. See more »

Goofs

During the third shot of the scene of the women's first day of drill training, what appears to be a small insect crawls across the camera lens, upper left of the frame. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: Let's give in at last and admit that we're really proud of you, you strange, wonderful, incalculable creatures. The world you're helping to shape is going to be a better world because you're helping to shape it. Pray silence gentlemen. I give you a toast - the gentle sex.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Prologue following opening credits: "Woman, when I behold thee, flippant, vain, inconstant, childish, proud and full of fancies" (spoken by Leslie Howard) See more »

Connections

Featured in Leslie Howard: The Man Who Gave a Damn (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Dilly Dally
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Collins and Fred W. Leigh
[Incorrectly credited as "Traditional"]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"....now we have hatred, to fill the empty spaces in our hearts......"
28 January 2019 | by Brucey_DSee all my reviews

A mixed lot of young ladies put their differences aside and do their bit for the war effort.

This film is more than competently made mid- WWII, both produced and narrated by Leslie Howard. Obviously the film has a strong element of propaganda to it, but this isn't laid on with a trowel and doesn't dominate proceedings.

Some reviewers complain that there is a lack of plot. Well, this is meant to be a slice of life for average folk in wartime; there isn't meant to be 'a plot' for most protagonists, because mostly they are just following orders and not asking questions. You could argue 'nothing happens' because at the start of the film the war is on and at the end of the film the war is still on.

However to argue 'nothing happens' is to lose sight of the changes in the circumstances and internal make-up of each of the seven ladies; they all change and develop in their own way, and each is a little more revealed as a person by the end of the film; by the end we see that they are perhaps more disparate than we thought at the start, but for different reasons.

Given the film only runs for 90 minutes and there are seven ladies, the character development is arguably somewhat subtly done. A good number of their trials and tribulations were ones which, at the time, a good fraction of the audience would have been able to relate to. Particularly revealing is the reaction of the ladies to successful ack-ack gunnery late on in the film.

It would have been very easy to dwell exclusively on the matter in hand but this film also discusses the future, eg how society might change in future years. All this at a time when it was by no means clear what the outcome of the war might be.

If you watch this film you might conclude that you would be able to see where you were going by the light of blackout-specification headlamps. Well this is a piece of cinematic licence; the amount of light projected through the usual two tiny slits was barely enough to be seen by let alone see by. Accident rates on wartime roads in the UK skyrocketed; some believe that the loss of life so incurred was greater than if the headlights had been left unmodified (and visible to enemy aircraft).

This film is particularly bittersweet because it was Leslie Howard's last film. Just weeks after it was released, he was lost; the Luftwaffe shot down a scheduled BOAC flight over the bay of Biscay which had only civilians on board. A great loss to cinema; we only have films like this to stand tribute to him, and the recently made (and rather good) 'The Man Who Gave a Damn' documentary.

Given the sort of film this is and when it was made, I'm giving it eight out of ten.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed