MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 990 this week

Desert Hearts (1985)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  7 March 1986 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,734 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 11 critic

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 17 May 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 04 Jul 2012
 
a list of 43 titles
created 21 Aug 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Desert Hearts" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Desert Hearts (1985)

Desert Hearts (1985) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Desert Hearts.

User Polls

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An uptight and conservative woman, working on tenure as a literacy professor at a large urban university, finds herself strangely attracted to a free-spirited, liberal woman who works at a local carnival that comes to town.

Director: Patricia Rozema
Stars: Pascale Bussières, Rachael Crawford, Henry Czerny
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An adventurous love story between two young women of different social and economic backgrounds who find themselves going through all the typical struggles of a new romance.

Director: Maria Maggenti
Stars: Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker, Maggie Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A drama centered on two women who engage in a dangerous relationship during South Africa's apartheid era.

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Parvin Dabas
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A 2008 romance film adapted from a same name novel about a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Tala, who is preparing for an elaborate wedding. A turn of events causes her to ... See full summary »

Director: Shamim Sarif
Stars: Lisa Ray, Sheetal Sheth, Antonia Frering
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two attractive young lesbians, Maggie and Kim, meet in Vancouver, develop a passionate romance, and move in together. Meanwhile, Maggie's well-meaning but naive mother Lila gets divorced ... See full summary »

Director: Anne Wheeler
Stars: Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox
Saving Face (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A Chinese-American lesbian and her traditionalist mother are reluctant to go public with secret loves that clash against cultural expectations.

Director: Alice Wu
Stars: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiec, Lynn Chen
Romance | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Berlin 1943/44 ("The Battle of Berlin"). Felice, an intelligent and courageous Jewish woman who lives under a false name, belongs to an underground organization. Lilly, a devoted mother of ... See full summary »

Director: Max Färberböck
Stars: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Johanna Wokalek
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Female authors gather at a small northern coastal retreat to work on their writing skills. A first-time guest who lives for the moment finds herself struggling with her sexuality after ... See full summary »

Director: Nicole Conn
Stars: Trisha Todd, Karen Trumbo, Faith McDevitt
Kiss Me (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young woman engaged to be married finds herself in an affair with her stepmother's lesbian daughter.

Director: Alexandra-Therese Keining
Stars: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes, Krister Henriksson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Annabelle is the wise-beyond-her-years newcomer to an exclusive Catholic girls school. Having been expelled from her first two schools she's bound to stir some trouble. Sparks fly between ... See full summary »

Director: Katherine Brooks
Stars: Erin Kelly, Diane Gaidry, Laura Breckenridge
Bloomington (2010)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

"Bloomington" is a coming-of-age drama about a former child actress attending college in search of independence and who ends up becoming romantically involved with a female professor.

Director: Fernanda Cardoso
Stars: Allison McAtee, Sarah Stouffer, Katherine Ann McGregor
High Art (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A young female intern at a small magazine company becomes involved with a drug-addicted lesbian photographer, both of whom seek to exploit each other for their respective careers, while slowly falling in love with each other.

Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Stars: Radha Mitchell, Ally Sheedy, Patricia Clarkson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Andra Akers ...
...
Gwen Welles ...
...
Katie La Bourdette ...
...
Tyler Tyhurst ...
...
Pat
Antony Ponzini ...
Joe
Brenda Beck ...
Joyce
Sam Minsky ...
Best Man
Patricia Frazier ...
Change Girl
Edit

Storyline

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a divorce. She's unsatisfied with her marriage, and feels out of place at the ranch she stays on, she finds herself increasingly drawn to Cay Rivers, an open and self-assured lesbian, and the ranchowner's daughter. The emotions released by their developing intimacy, and Vivian's insecurities about her feelings towards Cay, are played out against a backdrop of rocky landscapes and country and western songs. Written by Neil Lewis <njl@cix.compulink.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

1950s | nevada | divorce | lesbian | casino | See All (19) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 March 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Media hora más contigo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$2,492,088 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Charbonneau was married at the time of filming and Helen Shaver would meet her future husband, a key grip on the film, while making it. See more »

Goofs

Toward the end of the movie, when Vivian and her divorce lawyer are walking down the steps of the courthouse, you can see an older woman with a straw hat walk up the stairs by them. When Vivian & the lawyer reach the door to walk outside, you can see the same woman walking in. See more »

Quotes

Cay: I want you to open the door.
Vivian: And I want you to leave me alone.
Cay: I can't! Honest.
See more »


Soundtracks

LEAVIN' ON YOUR MIND
Written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce
Performed by Patsy Cline
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Kind of Sweet
7 November 2002 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

"Desert Hearts" has quite a bit going for it. It captures 1950s Reno and environs, the biggest little city in the world, pretty well: great old cars, red earth, dried twisted windspent driftwood, fragrant summer sagebrush, the noisy 7/24 casinos with 99 cent meals, suntanned faces, rickety ranch motels on the outskirts of town, snow-veined Sierras, and the pop music that is no worse than what we listen to. The story pulls one in.

Aura Lindley is the matriarch of the ranch and has bonded with one of her tenants. A new one arrives, an Eastern sophisticate, who refers to herself as a "distinguished author," and has a lot of books schlepped into her room. Discord! Helen Shaver, the professor, is rather neat and in addition to her books carries around a lot of savoir-faire. She doesn't look bad either. The movie also has going for it the presence of Patricia Charbonneau, who must have one of the most interesting crania on the planet, and the soft parts to match. She is possessed of a sinewy yet feminine figure and carries herself with presence. Her hair and her irises are the color of glowing anthracite. ("Charbonneau", indeed.) And those dazzling big choppers, appalling and appealing. She outs herself on a walk with Shaver who responds momentarily, impulsively. Jealous, Lindley throws Shaver out, suspecting something more intimate has happened than actually has.

The intimacy follows in a later scene when Charbonneau tracks Shaver to her downtown hotel room and initiates a long, erotic love scene which isn't at all pornographic or exploitative. The two women love one another, but one is after all an uptight distinguished author and the other, though equally intelligent, goes with the flow, as they say, and has been "kicked out of college for unnatural acts."

The film ends ambiguously. Can they get together? Can they compromise their life styles? Can a distinguished author carry on an affair with another woman in the 1950s? Not including Gertrude Stein? Can our desert wildflower find a home as a potted plant surrounded by geraniums on a windowsill on MacDougall Street in the Village? Will an author find happiness with a woman after her marriage to a man has ended in boredom and disaster? Will -- I forgot what the original rhetorical question was.

This is an easy movie to get through. Nothing in it leaps out at you. It doesn't pound you over the head with its modern sensibilities. We're not invited to condemn those morons back in the 50s for their attitudes towards gays, nor are we urged to feel guilty because we are accused of some lingering distaste ourselves. The movie sort of shrugs at these issues and says, well, that's the way it was. Not exactly a time that embraced gays but, at least on the outskirts of Reno, not exactly a time of torture either. One wishes Shaver and Charbonneau well as they ride off on the train into the sunset.


13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
IN MY TOP 10----SO GOOD!!!! netflowers
Similar plot to one of my favourite novels Wilde_child
Yeah stuff123
Where's Patricia? manhattanyc4
Frances maclasch
New 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD--June 5 CoreyPR
Discuss Desert Hearts (1985) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?