The Gentle Sex (1943)
Running Time: 92 mins Black & White
Starring: Joan Gates , Lilli Palmer
Whenever one sees a title like The Gentle Sex, one braces oneself for an ironic switcharound. The supposedly gentle girls of the title--seven in all--are actually determined young British moderns who go into military service during World War II. In true "Army bomber crew" fashion, the film explores the widely varied backgrounds of the ladies involved, showing the events which led them to their patriotic commitment. As propaganda, Gentle Sex served its wartime purpose; as entertainment, it holds up reasonably well after five decades. The film was coproduced and codirected by actor Leslie Howard, who functions as narrator and (according to one source) can be glimpsed from behind in a couple of scenes.