The Gentle Sex

The Gentle Sex

Leslie Howard (1943)

U Certificate


Our Score
Viewed today, this drama seems unbearably patronising in its depiction of the contribution made to the war effort by seven socially diverse women who volunteer for service on the same day. But in its day, it served its purpose both as a morale booster and as a recruitment advertisement, thanks to some astute appeals to the patriotic spirit and some spunky acting. The top-notch cast includes Barbara Waring as a catty snob and Lilli Palmer as a timid German immigrant. Sadly, a week after the film was released, its co-director Leslie Howard was killed when his plane was shot down while he was on a secret mission to Portugal.


Seven women from vastly different backgrounds are brought together as volunteers in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the Second World War. Despite their differences they become firm friends during training and on assignment driving military transport and operating anti-aircraft guns. Drama, starring Rosamund John, Joan Greenwood, Lilli Palmer, John Justin and Joan Gates.

Cast & Crew

Gwen Joan Gates
Good Time Dot Jean Gillie
Betty Joan Greenwood
Ann Lawrence Joyce Howard
Maggie Fraser Rosamund John
Erna Lilli Palmer
Joan Barbara Waring
David Sheridan John Justin
Colonel Lawrence Frederick Leister
Mrs Sheridan Mary Jerrold
Mrs Simpson Everley Gregg
Mrs Fraser Elliot Mason
Corporal John Laurie
Director Leslie Howard
Director Maurice Elvey
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Other Information

Language: EnglishBlack and whiteTheatrical distributor: General Film Dist LtdAvailable on: video