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Crowded Day, The (1954)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

A day in the life of a group of shopgirls, who live in a large hostel. They get up in the morning to go to work at Bunting and Hobbs, a large London department store, in the midst of the Christmas rush. The night watchman goes off duty as the day begins.

Peggy, who works in the furnishing department, quarrels with her boyfriend, Leslie, over his affection for his old car, Bessie. Leslie is nearly sacked for incompetence, but Stanton, the Personnel Manager, gets him a post in the Publicity department. After various romantic convolutions, he persuades Peggy to marry him.

Peggy's friend, Yvonne, is pregnant by a boy of upper-class parentage. Yvonne tells his mother she is going to have a baby, but she is cruelly dismissive. Yvonne plans suicide, using some tablets she steals from the store, but ultimately changes her mind. Meanwhile, without her knowledge, the boy has been attempting to contact her.

Flirty Suzy of the fashions department has a boyfriend who claims to work in a film studio and promises her a screen test. She is ultimately disillusioned after a staff party when she finds out that he is only a chauffeur. She is comforted by Alice, her single friend.

Eve, who works as a model in the fashions department, keeps her private life secret. Outside of work, she devotes herself to her wheelchair-bound husband, an ex-serviceman injured in the war.

As the busy day comes to a close, the night watchman arrives.