Women in War

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Women in War
Film poster
Directed by John H. Auer
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Written by Doris Anderson
F. Hugh Herbert
Starring Wendy Barrie
Elsie Janis
Music by Cy Feuer
Cinematography Jack A. Marta
Distributed by Republic Pictures
Release dates
  • June 6, 1940 (1940-06-06)
Running time
71 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Women in War is a 1940 American war film about the nurses of the British Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) during the Battle of France. Directed by John H. Auer and starring Wendy Barrie, Elsie Janis and Patric Knowles, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects (Howard Lydecker, William Bradford, Ellis J. Thackery, Herbert Norsch).[1]


Socialite Pamela Starr meets Mr Tedford, an older man in a London night club. After he escorts her home he tries to enter her flat feeling he has deserved the right to sleep with her as he has paid for her entertainment. Pamela thrusts a £5 note in his hands as reimbursement and attempts to enter her room but Tedford won't let her. The spirited Pamela strikes the drunken Tedford sending him across the landing where he crashes through a railing over the stairwell sending Tedford to his death.

The ensuing court case doesn't go well for Pamela as her playgirl lifestyle is paraded as evidence against her and to Pamela's surprise Mr Tedford was actually a British Captain on leave from the war front. Watching the trial is Matron O'Neil who was formerly Pamela's mother until she divorced her husband and left to go nursing around the troubled world to help those in need. Pamela had never known her mother and her late libertine father had denied her moral leadership and discipline in raising her. O'Neil and Pamela's defence solicitor concoct an arrangement where Pamela won't be charged with Tedford's death if she volunteers to be an Army nurse in France. Pamela is assigned to a VAD Detachment led by Matron O'Neil with Pamela still unaware that O'Neil is her mother.

Pamela's infamous reputation precedes her and furthermore the fiancee of one of her fellow nurses, Flt Lt Larry Hall of the RAF falls in love with Pamela. The tensions of the nurses continue as their detachment is sent to a dangerous area of the battle line.



  1. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 

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