Wednesday 12 July 2017

Soldier in Skirts. Cross-dressing to Escape the Army

A Cross-dressing Love Story

A young man deserting the army by cross-dressing and living as a woman, assuming a new identity, and being helped by the woman he loves. This is not the subject of a Fiction Mania transgender fantasy story but of a very well made little known British film from 1972. Based upon the book of the same title by H.E Bates.

'Soldier in Skirts' (AKA 'The Triple Echo' in UK) 1972 Directed by Michael Apsted, Starring Oliver Reed, Glenda Jackson and Brian Deacon.

Don't be fooled by the American title of this film, 'Soldier in Skirts', as this gives the impression that you're going to watch an English farce or the latest Carry On movie. This film is rather tense and for me it left a bad taste in my mouth due to the shocking and tragic ending. So this is no comedy, but shows what happens when reality and fantasy clash.

Set during WWII in a quiet English farmstead. Glenda Jackson plays Alice, who is running her farm single handed since her husband has become a prisoner of the Japanese. While Alice is roaming her farm she meets a young soldier, Barton, played by Brian Deacon. The two quickly become friends and then lovers. Barton decides to desert the army and takes refuse with Alice on her farm, in exchange for helping out on the farm.

The military, notice Barton's absence and soon start searching for him. Barton has to take extreme measures to avoid being caught and takes on the identity of Alice's sister. Barton is soon crossdressed and living s 'Jill'.

One day Alice and Jill receive a visit from two members of the military whilst trying to navigate the local fields in their tank. Oliver Reed plays the sergeant who soon becomes intrigued by the two sisters living on the farm. Oliver Reed's character is shown as a very masculine and macho male, such a contrast from the gentle male Barton, who now lives as Jill.

Christmas is approaching and there is a Christmas party being held in the village. And guess what the sergeant is on the lookout for a date. The sergeant asks 'Jill' to the Christmas dance, Alice tries her best to persuade Jill to make excuses and not go. However Jill is very niave, she has cabin fever being hidden on the farm all of the time and would like to have some fun. Jill really doesn't seem to understand the risks involved and accepts the invitation to the dance.

The dance sequence is done very well with Oliver Reed trying his best to get close to Jill. They dance check to cheek and even end up under the mistletoe together. Jill manages to avoid being kissed by sergeant but you can see his patience is being tested.

Male to Female Transformation Videos are Just a Click Away

Well you can imagine what happens, Jill's disguise is soon unmasked and the military soon realise that Jill is the local deserter they have been looking for. A very angry Oliver Reed personally seeks out Deacon for arrest, but not before a public assault to appease the sergeants humiliation of being fooled by 'Jill'. I won't say how it ends that's for you to discover.

Have a look at the clip below for a taster of the film. The Spanish DVD edition is available from Amazon here

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