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  • The cast and crew were some of the best British movies had to offer. This moving tale of what it was like in England in and just after the war years. I really enjoyed Thora Herd as the ever reliable Char lady, chatting all the time with nothing to say she was perfect. Cecil Parker who was head over heels in love with delightful Ursula Jeans but did not have the nerve to tell her till 2/3rds through the film, very English. The trivia was exactly right. A real who's who in the British film industry. Roy Baker directing, Vetchinsky art direction and Hillier a master of black and white photography. Miur Mathieson, music Seeing this 1948 movie for the 1st time in 2004, I was prepared to be disappointed but was not.
  • This small scale English movie was beautifully crafted by talented hands behind & before the camera. Notably, cinematographer Erwin Hillier, (whose b & w night scenes were beautifully composed and lit here), and a familiar and likable cast headed by Ursula Jeans and Cecil Parker added to this ironically titled film. Set around the central event of D-Day preparations and the aftermath of all the concentrated activity on the war, it demonstrated the emotional ripples on such events throughout the lives of the characters, centering on the household of Jeans, her children, and the military service personnel who come in and out of their lives as boarders during the war.

    While some might dismiss this as a trite movie about inconsequential people in a great turning point in history, the strength of this film is that detailed, largely domestic focus on the wartime anxieties, hard work and, of course, usually stoic British attitudes toward the war. This was heightened by the skilled filmmakers' ability to show the emotional ebbs and tides surging beneath the seemingly placid surface of the characters' lives. One illustration of this was the work of character lead Cecil Parker as a middle aged naval officer and widow Ursula Jeans as they quietly realized that their platonic friendship was deeper than either had fully realized.
  • This movie could easily have been an unmitigated disaster -- no plot to speak of, not much in the way of memorable dialog, the uneasy feeling a viewer has nowadays that it's all a great big stiff-upper-lip and tally-ho-for-rationing exercise. What saves it is the transcendent acting -- lines spoken so perfectly, body movements so in sync with the spirit of the situations -- and a sure sense of editing that keeps the story (slim pickins as it is) moving. So what have we here, after all's said and done? I think we've been given a good postcard for future generations, a card which says, "Yes, this is how it was; this is how we got through it all. We behaved well toward one another, and we all came out of it all right." I often stop movies to take breaks if they seem a little long-ish. This one played right through to the end, and I was sorry to see it finish. I could have spent much more time with these lovely people.
  • "The Weaker Sex" is two things. Firstly it is a tribute to the British housewife ("To those who also served, though they were too busy to stand and wait"). Secondly it is a look at contemporary (1948) history through the eyes of a middle-aged housewife.

    Though both these goals are admirable, the way they were carried out made a lopsided and rambling film. The first half of the picture, which takes place from D-Day to VE Night, shows a family under the stress of war. The incidents which fill this part of "The Weaker Sex" - air raids, lost and wounded brothers and sons, D-Day landings - are exciting enough to mask the fact that there isn't really any overarching plot, and the characters are going nowhere.

    However the second half of the movie, which takes place in the postwar "Age of Austerity" doesn't have this built-in excitement factor. While watching a family coping with peace and the aftermath of war should have been interesting, if only for the novelty value, this half of the picture felt like an epilogue to the real movie. It is possible, even probable, that real life felt like this after the war, but sometimes reality doesn't

    Perhaps there was a third purpose behind this movie. On the whole all the characters in "The Weaker Sex" are nice people: decent, doing their duty, law abiding, and not inclined to grumble. Given the era it was made in, it was perhaps intended to boost morale by reminding people how lucky they really were - that though times were hard they had peace, freedom and hope for the future.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    THE WEAKER SEX is a slice-of-life story made in the post-war period. It has some familiar faces giving enjoyable performances (Cecil Parker and Thora Hird in particular) but is otherwise quite restrained in its attempt to present a realistic portrayal of family life both during WW2 and after it. The film was directed by Roy Ward Baker, later to make a name for himself at Hammer Films. It's rather slow and mundane, featuring some heartfelt sub-plots and tragic moments here and there, but lacking the kind of drama that makes such a film tick.
  • Cheap-looking, studio-bound and obviously based on a play, but it looks good and is to be cherished as a very rare film lead for the charming Ursula Jeans.
  • I found the title of this rather classy wartime drama a bit misleading. Though it is told from the perspective of the widowed "Martha" (Ursula Jeans) and focusses on the stay at home elements of fighting during WWII - there isn't really anything weak about her dedication to her duties; nor of those of her counterparts. She plays her character with poignancy, dealing with the day-to-day trials and tribulations reconciling her work and her home - in which she billets RN commander "Geoffrey" (Cecil Parker) and sailor "Roddy" whilst her own two children are away serving. From a narrative perspective it climaxes with the D-Day landings and, intercut with War Office actuality, conveys a genuine sense of the fraught anticipation of those at home. Once the war has been won, the story rather peters out - a few fun jibes at the pains of rationing, and that most British of all things - the queue; and there is a degree of stoic, stiff upper lip-ness about the attitudes that makes the characterisations plausible and engaging, but it does slip a little into melodrama. There are a few welcome cameos from Thora Hird as their housekeeper (and, briefly, from Bill Owen with whom she starred in "Last of the Summer Wine" some 60-odd years later) and Kynaston Reeves. The story isn't all plain sailing: grim reality raises it's ugly head now and again, but that is handled subtly and isn't dwindled upon - helping the proceedings march along at a decent pace. I expect this went down well with audiences in 1948 - it's good.
  • malcolmgsw27 February 2018
    This is rather a strange film with an even stranger title.The film has a substantial amount of newsreel film intercut with the drama.Also there are newspaper headlines shown often when they seem to be of little dramatic point.Cecil Parker and Thora Bird steal the acting honours.I do wonder what contemporary audiences would have made of this film.Particularly being reminded of the austerity that everyone was having to suffer.Films like this were far better made during the war.
  • A rather inconsequential drama that offers a post-war pat on the back to all the housewives that kept the home fires burning while their menfolk and daughters were off fighting Nazis. Ursula Jeans is the anchor of both the film and the family that faces the typical highs and lows of domestic wartime life. It's watchable enough, but feels awfully rushed and episodic the longer it goes on, and is probably the only film in which Cecil Parker plays the romantic lead...