Brian Macfarlane has the advantage of knowing a period well.
Comfort’s films have their value, not merely as entertainments, but as chronicles of their age. A sense of postwar malaise also hangs over the film, in the image of the scruffy deserter on the run (thus allying it with such films as Cavalcanti’s They Made Me a Fugitive, 1948, and Lawrence Huntington’s Man on the Run, 1949), in the notion voiced by Simon, ‘If I’d had the guts, I’d have been a conchie’. And in Lord Clandon’s remark, ‘The peace hasn’t turned out as we’d hoped’. There is a whole sub-genre of films which address the idea of ex-servicemen (very few women) coming to terms with the demands of peace. This note is lightly struck in Silent Dust, but it is there and it helps to give the film a richer texture, anchoring it firmly in its period. (BFI Notes)