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A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries (1998)

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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 »

Director:

James Ivory

Writers:

Kaylie Jones (novel), James Ivory (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kris Kristofferson ... Bill Willis
Barbara Hershey ... Marcella Willis
Leelee Sobieski ... Charlotte Anne 'Channe' Willis, Age 14
Jane Birkin ... Mrs. Fortescue
Dominique Blanc ... Candida
Jesse Bradford ... Billy Willis, Age 14
Harley Cross ... Keith Carter
Isaach De Bankolé ... Mamadou (as Isaac De Bankole)
Macha Méril ... Madame Beauvier (as Macha Meril)
Nathalie Richard ... Mademoiselle Fournier
Anthony Roth Costanzo Anthony Roth Costanzo ... Francis Fortescue
Bob Swaim ... Bob Smith
Virginie Ledoyen ... Billy's Mother
Luisa Conlon Luisa Conlon ... Young Charlotte Anne 'Channe' Willis, Age 7
Samuel Gruen 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:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

18 September 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La hija de un soldado nunca llora See more »

Filming Locations:

Wilmington, North Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$39,517, 20 September 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,759,596, 22 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Billy is shaving with shaving cream on his face while talking with Channe, but in the very next shot the shaving cream is gone. 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 James Jones: Reveille to Taps (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Voi che sapete
(from "The Marriage of Figaro")
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (as W.A. Mozart)
Sung by Anthony Roth Costanzo
See more »

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User Reviews

 
you won´t cry either
24 June 2001 | by CherubinSee 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.


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