6.6/10
825
17 user 8 critic

Desert Bloom (1986)

The story involves Rose Chismore's youth. She flashes back and remembers her coming-of-age. Her recollections are sometimes less than sweet, particularly those of her troubled and alcoholic... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen story), (story)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Rose Chismore
...
...
Lily Chismore
...
...
Robin (as Jay D. Underwood)
Desiree Joseph ...
Dee Ann Chismore
Dusty Balcerzak ...
Barbara Jo Chismore
...
Mr. Mosol
Tressi Loria ...
Shelly
Laura Rasmussen ...
Meryl
William Lang ...
Colonel
Jim McCarthy ...
Driver
Ann Risley ...
Mrs. Muratore
Rick Schieffer ...
Mr. Brandal
Irene Goodnight ...
R.C. Volunteer
Edit

Storyline

The story involves Rose Chismore's youth. She flashes back and remembers her coming-of-age. Her recollections are sometimes less than sweet, particularly those of her troubled and alcoholic step-father. Her memories of Robin, her first-love, are much happier and she also recalls her colorful Aunt Starr -- who's visit is fun but also detrimental to her family's health. The setting of 1950s Las Vegas' bomb testing is increasingly significant to the development of the story. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Flor do Deserto  »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,797, 20 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$416,393
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Winona Ryder auditioned on video for the part of Rose, which eventually went to Annabeth Gish. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Video Discoveries (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

MOCKIN' BIRD HILL
Written by Vaughn Horton
Performed by Patti Page
Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects
A division of Polygram Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Underrated drama about coming of age in 50's Vegas
10 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

"Desert Bloom" (1986) is an excellent and underrated coming-of-age drama about a semi-dysfunctional family living in Las Vegas in the early 50s. The military is conducting atomic bomb testing nearby. The story mostly focuses on 13 year-old Rose (Annabeth Gish) who struggles with her relationship with her stepfather, Jack (Jon Voight). Jack suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism. Her mother, Lily (JoBeth Williams), is the pillar of the family that keeps them together and hopeful. When Lily's sexpot sister, Starr (Ellen Barkin), visits it's both a blessing and a curse.

The film grabbed my attention from the get-go, which is a good sign, and sustained it till the end. The first two acts are solid drama that build up to the more volatile final act.

Most families function satisfactorily from day to day with an undercurrent of some frustration or animosity, which leads to the occasional explosion of emotions. This is what we see in "Desert Bloom," and it's a potent explosion.

The acting is stellar, by the way. Voight's one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema and he's just so believable here. Williams, Barkin and Gish as well.

Roger Ebert inexplicably complained that the film is about two many things, but I never got this feeling for a second. Yes, the story juggles quite a few issues -- coming-of-age, atomic bomb testing, mental disorders, child abuse, alcoholism and inappropriate relations -- but they all gel together in a cohesive whole.

With all these elements the film is rich with gems to mine. Here are three that I'd like to mention:

  • The balding, pudgy neighbor who is boldly willing to stand up for Rose.


  • The solid mother who keeps her composure at all times, until she catches wind of something sinister. At that point, watch out! (But notice what she does after the emotional explosion).


  • The ending's emphasis on repentance, forgiveness and redemption. It's so effective it's a mite tear-inducing.


As far as the dramatic vibe goes, "Desert Bloom" is reminiscent of films like "Jacknife" (1989) and "Blue Sky" (1991). It's on par with the former and better than the latter.

The film was shot in Vegas & Tucson and runs 105 minutes.

GRADE: A-


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 17 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

This week on "The IMDb Show," La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz shares some "secret" information about his new spy-thriller series, "Counterpart." Plus, Kevin Smith lets us in on his favorite Sundance movies of all time.

Watch the show