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A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)

 -  Drama  -  18 September 1998 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 2,045 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 38 user | 39 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bill Willis
...
Marcella Willis
...
Charlotte Anne 'Channe' Willis, Age 14
...
Mrs. Fortescue
...
Candida
...
Billy Willis, Age 14
Harley Cross ...
Keith Carter
...
Mamadou (as Isaac De Bankole)
Macha Méril ...
Madame Beauvier (as Macha Meril)
Nathalie Richard ...
Mademoiselle Fournier
Anthony Roth Costanzo ...
Francis Fortescue
Bob Swaim ...
Bob Smith
...
Billy's Mother
Luisa Conlon ...
Young Charlotte Anne 'Channe' Willis, Age 7
Samuel Gruen ...
Benoit / Young Billy Willis, Age 7
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Storyline

This fictionalized story, based on the family life of writer James Jones, is an emotionless slice-of-life story. Jones here is portrayed as Bill Willis, a former war hero and now successful author who obviously drinks too much and is starting to experience health problems. Living in France with his wife, daughter, and an adopted son, the family travels an unconventional road that leaves all of them as outsiders to others. Preaching a sexual freedom, his daughter's sexual acceptance begins at an early age and betrays her when the family moves to Hanover in America. Her sexuality is definitely not the normal for American teens and gives her a bad reputation and outcasts her. Meanwhile her brooding brother struggles with his own inner turmoils about his early desertion in life. Only within the tight knit confines of his family is he comfortable to even speak. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The city of lights. A famous American author and the decade that changed a generation...forever.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 September 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La hija de un soldado nunca llora  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$39,517 (USA) (18 September 1998)

Gross:

$1,759,596 (USA) (20 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The family is watching Thunderbolt and Lightfoot on TV, which was not even released to theatres until 1974, but we later see a date on a gravestone of 1973 (which means the TV scene was probably set in 1972, since there was an intervening New Year's Eve scene). See more »

Crazy Credits

The cast part of the credits is divided into three parts: First "Billy" (1-27), Then "Francis" (28-41), and finally "Daddy" (42-51) See more »

Connections

References Dinah's Place (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Teenie Weenie Boppie
Written by Serge Gainsbourg (as S. Gainsbourg)
Performed by France Gall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
you won´t cry either
24 June 2001 | by (Prague, Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

"A Soldier´s Daughter Never Cries" is the kind of movie that, in spite of American production, feels very European. American movies tend to be sentimental with plenty of scenes specifically calculated to make viewers get teary eyed. European movies, though, usually opt for a more naturalistic approach that refuses to wallow in emotions. In the case of "Soldier´s Daughter", this characteristic can be both good and bad. It is good in the sense that the movie seems more realistic because one must admit that in real life, melodramatic conduct is not too common. Emotions seem to be hidden rather than absent and they actually do appear in small explosions like in the somewhat odd outbursts of the mother towards the end. Emotions also seem to be behind the strange behavior of the characters (e.g. the maid scrubbing the floor at midnight after breaking up with her lover or Billy acting antisocial to make up for his feelings of resentment). Howwever, there are quite a few scenes which should have been emotionally powerful but aren´t. A good dose of American sentiment could have made a difference. For example, in the one scene where Channe finally starts crying (the title of the movie is a saying her father keeps quoting at her), I understood the place of it in the plot but was not touched by it. When Francis, heartbroken, says goodbye to Channe after telling her his secret, the situation should have been heartrending but it also left me feeling hollow

  • and this in spite of the fact that Francis, an effeminate heterosexual,


was probably the film´s most fascinating character. Furthermore, the parents´ understated reactions often make it seem that they do not really love or care about their children the way everyone keeps insisting they do (is that a possible hidden meaning ?).

Otherwise, the movie is fine in the sense that it is intelligently written. Not only is it based on a novel but it feels as if it WAS a novel rather than a movie. The family is portrayed quite realistically. Even though the film does not seem to try to be artistic, it is lyrical enough to be seen as art.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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