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Desert Hearts
     

Desert Hearts

4.5 4
Director: Donna Deitch

Cast: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley

 

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Director Donna Deitch makes a strong impression in her first feature film, a simple story of a lesbian love affair, based on Jane Rule's 1964 novel Desert of the Heart. Helen Shaver stars as Vivian Bell, an uptight 35-year-old Columbia University professor who travels to Reno to get a divorce. She arrives in Reno on her way to Frances Parker's (Audra Lindley) ranch,

Overview

Director Donna Deitch makes a strong impression in her first feature film, a simple story of a lesbian love affair, based on Jane Rule's 1964 novel Desert of the Heart. Helen Shaver stars as Vivian Bell, an uptight 35-year-old Columbia University professor who travels to Reno to get a divorce. She arrives in Reno on her way to Frances Parker's (Audra Lindley) ranch, where she is staying to establish six weeks of residency in order to obtain the divorce. Once at the ranch, Vivian catches the fancy of Frances's adopted daughter Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a casino worker ten years younger than herself. Vivien tries to remain unruffled as Cay makes unabashed overtures to her. Cay thinks that all Vivian needs is the love of another woman, and soon enough the two are in each other's arms.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Donna Deitch's debut film is the modest, appealing story of a romance between two seemingly mismatched women. Helen Shaver plays a university professor in her mid-thirties who becomes involved with a younger woman (Patrice Charbonneau) while staying in Reno for a divorce during the 1950s. Whether straight or gay, man or woman, the story of an uptight character letting go is so innately compelling that it's long been a staple of motion pictures. By setting her love story in such an unusual time and place, and shooting in relaxed master scenes, Deitch heightens the sense of the forbidden radiating from the intense, but slow-burning attraction of the two women. Given the mores of the time, the reluctance of Shaver's professor to be drawn into a new world of sexuality is completely believable, and typically, it's her character's resistance that makes the final scenes of lovemaking so hot. However, both characters are thinly written, with neither Shaver's long marriage or Charbonneau's existence as a gay woman in an unforgiving American West much explored. Still, both actresses give splendid performances, subtly expressing a passion the script only implies.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/05/2007
UPC:
0754703762832
Original Release:
1985
Rating:
R
Source:
Wolfe Video
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

Never before seen footage of the famous love scene; New director's commentary; Interview with Patricia Charbonneau and Helen Shaver by director Donna Deitch; Slide show; Theatrical trailer; 2 disc set; Closed captioning; 16:9 letterbox; Dolby 2.0

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Helen Shaver Vivian Bell
Patricia Charbonneau Cay Rivvers
Audra Lindley Frances Parker
Andra Akers Silver
Gwen Welles Gwen
Dean Butler Darell
Katie La Bourdette Lucille
James Staley Art Warner
Jeffrey Tambor Jerry
Antony Ponzini Joe Lorenzo
Alex McArthur Walter
Tyler Tyhurst Buck
Denise Crosby Pat
Tom Martin Red Cop
Donna Deitch Hungarian Gambler

Technical Credits
Donna Deitch Director,Producer
Linda M. Bass Costumes/Costume Designer
David Brisbin Production Designer
Natalie Cooper Screenwriter
Robert Elswit Cinematographer
Robert L. Estrin Editor
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Desert Hearts
1. Chapter 1 [4:14]
2. Chapter 2 [3:52]
3. Chapter 3 [6:10]
4. Chapter 4 [4:52]
5. Chapter 5 [5:20]
6. Chapter 6 [5:52]
7. Chapter 7 [2:48]
8. Chapter 8 [7:03]
9. Chapter 9 [11:30]
10. Chapter 10 [8:41]
11. Chapter 11 [2:01]
12. Chapter 12 [12:43]
13. Chapter 13 [5:06]
14. Chapter 14 [4:59]
15. Chapter 15 [2:31]
16. Chapter 16 [3:13]

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Desert Hearts 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I happened upon this movie years ago and instantly fell in love with Pasty Cline! The soundtrack alone is enough reason to buy the movie. Some of the acting is a little stiff, but the characters are engaging, and the story is interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story happened to me, so I know how divorcee Vivian Bell felt. The story is a warm and realistic reproduction of life as it really exists. Its conclusion says that life can be enjoyed in more ways than one. Or as they say, dont knock it until you've tried it.
FNlucky More than 1 year ago
Desert Hearts was the first lesbian themed movie I ever watched. Fell in love with it right away. I recently bought it used from the company TwiceBooked. I recieved the DVD 2 days after I placed my order. It was in perfect condition. I would recommend this company to anyone looking for Excellent Service!!! Thanx, Alyssa
Anonymous More than 1 year ago