Based on the novel by L. P. Hartley, The Hireling is a dissection of antiquated but hardly dormant British class distinctions. Chauffeur Robert Shaw is in the employ of aristocratic widow Sarah Miles. When she suffers a nervous breakdown, Shaw helps her through her recovery. They grow to love each other during the convalescence; but when she is cured, Ms. Miles refuses to regard Shaw as an equal, and the original status quo is reinstated. The Hireling provides an interesting contrast to the similarly structured American film of 1991, Driving Miss Daisy.