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A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries

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Seth Rubin


When Channe is six the world is an exciting place. Her father, Bill Willis, is a famous American writer. Sometimes he has nightmares about his time as a soldier, but on the whole, life is pretty good. It's the 1960's and he's living in Paris with his fiercely loyal wife Marcella who curses when she loses at poker and isn't afraid to stand up to anyone - though her irreverent sense of justice leads to her children being expelled from their school. And Channe herself is happy to be caught between the fast talking, fun loving American way of life at home and the French world she inhabits by day - until, that is, Little Bill appears on the scene.

His name is really Benoit, but Willis has trouble pronouncing it and Little Bill wants so much to be an American that he chooses the name of his new father. Channe is hostile to the latest member of the family. So what if his teenage mother was forced to give him up and he is destined to spend his life in an orphanage? Marcella, however, is ecstatic that she has been blessed with a son she could never have naturally - though life would be sweeter if Little Bill's real mother would only agree to sign the adoption papers.

As the family watch John Wayne films dubbed into French, and traditional accordion music competes with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, Channe's relationship with her new brother swings between one of friendship to that of adversaries - sometimes threatening the unique and candid relationship Channe has with her father. As she grows, Channe becomes increasingly caught between two separate cultures and finds that acceptance by either is a hard fought battle.


Type of film
Running Time
99 mins
35mm Kodak
James Ivory
Richard Hawley
Executive Producer
Richard Hawley
Director of Photography
Jean-Marc Fabre
Principal Cast
Kris Kristofferson, Barbara Hershey, Leelee Sobieshi
Screen Writers
James Ivory, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala


Production status


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Last updated 26th November 2005

Production Company

Merchant Ivory
46 Lexington Street
London W1R 3LH
Tel: 020 7437 1200
Fax: 020 7734 1579


Capitol Films
23 Queensdale Place
London W11 4SQ
Tel: 020 7471 6000
Fax: 020 7471 6012