Desert Hearts

( 4 )

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 ...
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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.
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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
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2007
  • UPC: 754703762832
  • Original Release: 1985
  • Rating:

  • Source: Wolfe Video
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:34:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 25,930

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
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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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Menu

Disc #1 -- Desert Hearts
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Director's Commentary
      Director's Commentary: On
      Director's Commentary: Off
      Closed Captioning: On
      Closed Captioning: Off
   Closed Captioning
      Director's Commentary: On
      Director's Commentary: Off
      Closed Captioning: On
      Closed Captioning: Off
Disc #2 -- Desert Hearts - Special Features
   Extended Love Scene
   Interview of Stars by Director
   Slide Show
   Theatrical Trailer
   More From Wolfe
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Warmest lesbian love affair ever

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A true classic

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Must See Love Story!

    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

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews