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Soldier's Girl
Soldier's Girl
Actors: Troy Garity, Lee Pace, Andre Braugher, Shawn Hatosy, Philip Eddolls
Director: Frank Pierson
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
R     2004     1hr 52min

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 n...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Troy Garity, Lee Pace, Andre Braugher, Shawn Hatosy, Philip Eddolls
Director: Frank Pierson
Creators: Paul Sarossy, Katina Zinner, Doro Bachrach, Lena Cordina, Linda Gottlieb, Ron Nyswaner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Crime, Love & Romance, All Made-for-TV Movies, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Showtime Ent.
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2004
Original Release Date: 05/31/2003
Theatrical Release Date: 05/31/2003
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 15
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Bonnie C. from KATY, TX
Reviewed on 11/13/2009...
This is a powerful film. Gut-wrenching in its honesty and at times very difficult to watch. The performances and the story make it all worth while though. Quiet direction, perfect casting and the build up to the climatic ending are all parts of why this movie works so well. My heart ached at times while watching this but I think everyone should see this movie and truly see what ignorance and hatred really look like up-close.

Movie Reviews

Poignant, powerful adaptation of a true story
Jonathan Appleseed | 12/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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 ), 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. Her comments on Barry were pointed and poignant. Also, she did have her final operation, and is working now in L.A.

The other appearance of note in the Special Features was that of Barry's mother herself. We learned a little more about Barry than in the film. When he first went to Visions, his "buddies" were taking him there to get his mind off his breakup with his girlfriend of four years. She wondered if Barry was actually gay, but said that it didn't matter. What mattered is that what happened to him was a terrible crime, one of bigotry and hate, and so she and her husband have taken it upon themselves to speak when and wherever they can to combat closed minds. Good for them.

There were only two things that angered me. One, the person that killed Barry will be eligible for parole in less than thirteen years. The manner in which he killed Barry should have garnered him life imprisonment without the possibility of parole - at best. Also, the instigator of his death, Justin, is up for parole very soon. If not for his pressuring, the little idiot (Glover?) that killed Barry probably wouldn't have done it. If the movie showed that scene correctly, as it actually happened, then Justin is just as responsible for Barry's death as Glover, and should be in prison for a very long time.

*Added 9/29/06 - According to the October 10th, 2006 issue of The Advocate, "Justin Fisher...was [released] to a halfway house [last month]. Fisher will be out of custody entirely October 24."

He didn't spend nearly enough time for this crime. How horribly, horribly sad.
Fitting and respectful
Jenny | England | 02/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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.Watching and hearing Barry's Mother in the special features was, I have to say, the most harrowing part of the viewing experience. Somebody with a huge amount of courage and sensitivity, a true and complete sense of humanity, She brought tears to my eyes.Overall, I'm glad I bought it, even though I had to buy it from the US direct, and it will be watched several times more in the next few months, with friends."
Tragic Love Story
Diaspora Chic | Silver Spring, MD | 06/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"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."