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Soldier's Girl (2003)

Troy Garity , Lee Pace , Frank Pierson  |  R |  DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Troy Garity, Lee Pace, Andre Braugher, Shawn Hatosy, Philip Eddolls
  • Directors: Frank Pierson
  • Writers: Ron Nyswaner
  • Producers: Doro Bachrach, Lena Cordina, Linda Gottlieb, Ron Nyswaner
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Showtime Ent.
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000JD29M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,685 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Soldier's Girl" on IMDb

Special Features

- Cast and Crew Commentary - "Soldier's Secret" -- A closer look at the story that inspired the movie - Filmographies, and more.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Cable networks like Showtime are diving into risky material that mainstream movie-makers shy away from--and Soldier's Girl demonstrates the payoff of such risks. Barry Winchell (Troy Garity, Barbershop), new to an infantry base in Tennessee, gets taken to a nightclub for drag performers by an obnoxious fellow soldier, Fisher (Shawn Hatosy, Outside Providence). There he meets Calpernia (Lee Pace), a transgendered performer, and feels an immediate attraction. But as Winchell's relationship with Calpernia develops, his relationship with the repressed Fisher grows dangerous to his career in the military--and possibly to his life. Based on a true story, Soldier's Girl tackles its delicate subject matter directly but respectfully, with compassion and intelligence. Garity, Pace, and Hatosy all turn in compelling, complex performances, steering clear of stereotypes. Director Frank Pierson (screenwriter of Dog Day Afternoon) skillfully avoids easy answers or obvious solutions and was deservedly nominated for an Emmy as a result. --Bret Fetzer

Product Description

The true story of Soldier’s Girl, which takes place in Fort Campbell, KY, tells the heart-wrenching story of the life and tragic death of soldier Barry Winchell. His love for Calpernia Addams, a beautiful transgendered nightclub performer was misunderstood by fellow soldiers and eventually leads to his brutal death. The outstanding performances by Lee Pace and Troy Garity will draw you into this emotional and powerful film.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant, powerful adaptation of a true story December 25, 2004
Format:DVD
I saw this movie the same day that I saw Million Dollar Baby (the boxing film starring Hillary Swank and Clint Eastwood), and at the end all I could think was - is this how I wanted to spend Christmas Eve? Crying?

Well, it was worth it.

Barry's story is well known, so I'll skip a retelling. Although I never fully understood Barry's interest in Calpernia, only because the movie didn't make any attempts to delve into the "why" of his attraction to her, I found myself moved by their love, and Barry's fierce determination to keep his private life (Calpernia) private.

What a shame that he shared barracks with such a horrendous and sick person (Justin). I know some people in the armed forces that are gay (but don't ask me who, because I won't tell <grin>), and they are well accepted by their ... I don't know the technical terms here...comrades in arms. How's that. A pity that Barry didn't get stuck with a person whose problem was certainly far worse than OCD.

Anyway. What I found particularly moving, and what has caused me to watch the movie again, were the special features on the CD. Usually the special features are interesting for ancillary purposes. But these were different. First, I was surprised to find that Calpernia's [...] weren't real. I had been rather convinced that a real transgender was playing her role. Instead, it was a male, with a rather flat chest, so his performance was even more interesting. That's one of the main reasons I want to watch the film again.

Calpernia Adams herself appeared in the Special Features, and I was so surprised. I don't have a tremendous amount of experience with transgenders, but did not expect her to be so much like a lady. NOT a gay man acting like a lady, but a real lady.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fitting and respectful February 13, 2004
By Jenny
Format:DVD
The truth behind this film is shocking in the extreme, and the heart hurts terribly for Calpernia and Barry's family. Anger and despair are two words that spring to mind.
The message, seemed to me to be about homophobia. I know a lot of trans people will cry "transphobia", but we suffer violence because some in society see us as sexual beings, nothing more, so the focus of the film there I feel was an important one to make.
As a transgendered woman myself, I bought the movie with the wrong focus, the wrong intent. I was expecting a movie with Calpernia as the central character. I'm glad that the producers centered the movie around Barry (played with sensitivity by Troy Garity), it is a fitting tribute to a decent human being. And it's quite nice to not have it sensationalised as well, just played as what it is, a tragic romance.
Sorry, but Lee just couldn't muster the voice at all. He sounded like a man trying to sound like a woman. A little vocal preparation would have helped there. That being said, he did put in a pretty good performance all in all. It can't be easy being a bloke and playing a part like that, so hats off for his courage to try and make it work.
Like Calpernia I was in the navy (12 years, though I began transition whilst still in the service) and what Barry went through I have seen and experienced. Don't ask don't tell simply does not work, even if you're not gay, but if, like Barry, you fall in love with someone considered "wrong." A complete re-education policy needs to be set in place, and the reason is aptly set out in this film, graphically and simply. The psychological goading of the young recruit was exceptionally well produced I thought, considering the time constraints within the movie itself and brought back some terrible memories.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic Love Story June 20, 2004
Format:DVD
Troy Garity proves that he has great acting ability in his performance as Barry Winchell, a soldier who falls in love with a transgendered performer. Barry is taken to a nightclub by his obnoxious and self-destructive roommate Fisher as a test to see if he is gay or straight. Rather than a test of sexuality, it was a test of love for a human being despite the psychological and physiological appearance. Lee Pace does an excellent portrayal of a woman trapped in a man's body--what it feels like to be someone else on the inside. Winchell had to deal with his peers who mocked and jeered at the transgendered performers and himself for falling in love with a "different" type of person. Tragedy ensued in the middle of the movie.
Fisher was his own worst enemy and downfall. He was trying to do good but yet, screwed up because he was unable to control himself and expected everyone to fall at his feet. But he messed up constantly and he too would have to meet his perilous fate.
Showtime doesn't hold back on issues that affect us in the public. They aren't afraid to address homosexuality where mainstream media sugarcoats to not offend viewers. It is a tragedy that a young man who falls in love with someone considered "abnormal" is outcasted by society and the military. "Don't ask, don't tell" is just another way to keep gays and lesbians in the closet.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some justice for Barry February 12, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
I have never reviewed a movie before until I watched Soldier's Girl. This is an absolutely beautiful film, virtuously retold by wonderful young actors who have obviously been inspired to do justice to the truth.
Here is a true story about Barry Winchell, a young soldier from the heartland and fresh out of basic training setting out somewhat hesitantly into dangerous sexual territory. And what danger there is in wait for this man! His military leaders and comrades have made life on base for him, or for anyone awakening to gay feelings, a living hell. It's a wonder that he didn't snap from the constant drumming hostility and it's really a testament to his bravery and maturity that he withstood that humiliating barrage without complaining.
Troy Garity's performance as Barry is, I think, Oscar worthy and Lee Pace is completely convincing as the transgendered club performer Calpurnia Addams. Sean Hatosy plays the manipulative Pvt Fisher as a kind of "Iago" character so well that I didn't realize until later how seamless his performance is. And the young actor who plays Barry's killer really captures the feeble-minded brutishness of Pvt Glover to perfection. I really must hand it to Showtime for hiring Frank Pierson and all these incredible actors to portray this still fresh tragedy with such courage.
The DVD version which I bought has some great interviews with the actors and some of the actual persons that helps fill out the total story. I recommend this film to anyone in general and specifically to any young man gay or gay-curious who might be thinking of joining the military.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very sad movie but I love it
Very sad movie but I love it . Jane Fonda son ( Troy Garity) did so well at this movie. He potrays it like real man who just happen to fall in love to someone special that other... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Raymond Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
My favorite movie. Worth every penny
Published 9 days ago by Ryan Reece
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It came in great condition
Published 15 days ago by Theodore Adreece Rawles
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie was amazing. I've never served for my country
This movie was amazing. I've never served for my country, but this man was in love with a transsexual. Read more
Published 18 days ago by Tonya Stutes
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie. Worth checking out
Good movie. Worth checking out.
Published 24 days ago by Chas
5.0 out of 5 stars Make me cry !!!
A truly beautiful ,tragic, romantic...story ...based on a true story. I was young but remember the real story of the late Barry Winchell on the news ... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Next Cullen
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing film this is
What an amazing film this is! Lee Pace and Troy Garity are amazing. Anyways, I received the DVD promptly and in perfection condition. Very pleased!
Published 1 month ago by Ellie Cross
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
comments
Published 1 month ago by Bradley Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars tamara
Sad movie of how dangerous ignorance is.
It was hard to watch, but; I did google where they are at today. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tamara VonBismarck
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
My only complaint about this movie is that the actor playing Calpernia Addams is nowhere near made to look as beautiful as the REAL Calpernia is. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Hillary Mansfield
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