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 »
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.
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.
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 <email@example.com>
The song "Crazy" by Patsy Cline was released in 1961. The movie is set in 1959 and the song is on in the background in the movie. See more »
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 »
Vivian, we have to get out of here, you know. Stand up. Take a walk. Have a Coke. Window shop?
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The US DVD release is 5 minutes shorter than the theatrical version (91 as opposed to 96 minutes). The most noticeable cut is in the sex scene which is slightly briefer than the original. See more »
"Desert Hearts" makes me feel all warm and romantic whenever I think about it, and this I attribute mostly to director Deitch. Credit is also due to screenwriter Natalie Cooper for making sense of Jane Rule's molasses-thick quagmire of a novel, and to a super cast of supporting players. Alex McArthur is James-Dean-cute in his fresh and much welcome film debut as Cay's charmingly sensitive brother Walter. Audra Lindley is great as Cay's dear gruff mom Frances, and Andra Akers, new to me, purrs and scintillates as Silver. The soundtrack is one-of-a-kind wonderful with Patsy Cline, Ella Fitzgerald and on and on. I can't tell you how many times I saw "Desert Hearts" in a theater but for months after, a certain song (or a lone train whistle) would evoke sweet haunting memories...
As for Cay and Vivian, Patricia Charbonneau and Helen Shaver portray two sympathetic and instantly familiar female characters, but I've gotta give this to Donna, too. Why? Because this is the only production in which Shaver and Charbonneau (sounds good when you say 'em together!) rise above their usual below-average efforts. (I've seen enough of their film and TV work to make an admittedly personal judgment.) My gut feeling is that Deitch created a safe environment of honesty and acceptance, and encouraged and nurtured the heck out of her allegedly straight stars. In return they offered her an intimate duet of performances that, like the sleek sexy tailfins on Cay's Buick convertible, gave us a classic.
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