7.0/10
4,839
49 user 22 critic

Desert Hearts (1985)

R | | Drama, Romance | 7 March 1986 (USA)
Trailer
2:03 | Trailer
A woman on the precipice of divorce becomes drawn to a ranchowner's daughter.

Director:

Donna Deitch

Writers:

Jane Rule (novel), Natalie Cooper
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Shaver ... Vivian Bell
Patricia Charbonneau ... Cay Rivvers
Audra Lindley ... Frances Parker
Andra Akers Andra Akers ... Silver
Gwen Welles ... Gwen
Dean Butler ... Darrell
James Staley ... Art Warner
Katie La Bourdette Katie La Bourdette ... Lucille
Alex McArthur ... Walter
Tyler Tyhurst Tyler Tyhurst ... Buck
Denise Crosby ... Pat
Antony Ponzini ... Joe
Brenda Beck Brenda Beck ... Joyce
Sam Minsky Sam Minsky ... Best Man
Patricia Frazier Patricia Frazier ... Change Girl
Learn more

More Like This 

Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1943 Berlin, a Nazi officer's wife meets and starts a passionate affair with a Jewish woman.

Director: Max Färberböck
Stars: Maria Schrader, Juliane Köhler, Johanna Wokalek
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Maggie, 19, works at a lesbian/LGBT bookstore. Her mom's getting divorced and has invited herself to stay with Maggie. Maggie hasn't told her, she's lesbian. Her new girlfriend moves in as well.

Director: Anne Wheeler
Stars: Wendy Crewson, Karyn Dwyer, Christina Cox
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
High Art (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
If These Walls Could Talk 2 (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Trio of stories about lesbian couples in three different decades.

Directors: Jane Anderson, Martha Coolidge, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Vanessa Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Paul Giamatti
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 | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of Nan Astley who falls in love with three different women on her journey to stardom and happiness in 1887 Victorian England.

Stars: Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, Jodhi May
Saving Face (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 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
Fingersmith (2005)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In Victorian England, Sue, a young thief, participates in a scam to defraud a rich heiress by becoming her maid. Things take an unexpected turn and Sue's plan goes horribly wrong.

Stars: Elaine Cassidy, Sally Hawkins, Imelda Staunton
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A naive teenager is sent to rehab camp when her straitlaced parents and friends suspect her of being a lesbian.

Director: Jamie Babbit
Stars: Natasha Lyonne, Clea DuVall, Michelle Williams
Kiss Me (2011)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A young woman engaged to be married finds herself in an affair with her soon-to-be stepmother's lesbian daughter.

Director: Alexandra-Therese Keining
Stars: Ruth Vega Fernandez, Liv Mjönes, Krister Henriksson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A woman searching for the perfect man instead discovers the perfect woman.

Director: Charles Herman-Wurmfeld
Stars: Jennifer Westfeldt, Heather Juergensen, Tovah Feldshuh
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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a city where fortunes are made and dreams are shattered, she gambled on a different kind of love. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Patricia Charbonneau filmed the entire movie while pregnant. See more »

Goofs

In the hotel room when Vivian recounts to Cay the confrontation earlier between herself and Francis, she says she (Vivian) was standing in the rain when in reality the confrontation took place when the weather was sunny and dry. See more »

Quotes

[to Vivian while playing two slot machines]
Hungarian Gambler: You don't play, you can't win.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Soundtracks

Get Rhythm
Written by Johnny Cash
Performed by Johnny Cash
Courtesy of Sun International Corporation
See more »

User Reviews

A good movie and a breakthrough classic
28 July 2000 | by marvelous-marvSee all my reviews

I'm a straight male and I feel the movie was done very tastefully (not a pun) and had a nice story. It wasn't supposed to be an action flick, but it does have a good story though I would have preferred to see it go a little deeper emotionally, but you have to understand that this was a "period" film and given the era the movie was set in, the emotions of the characters make perfect sense. In the 50's and especially in the rural areas, people were very conservative and though a character like Cay would've wanted to be open about her lifestyle, she certainly would've felt restrained to do so, even as free-spirited as she was. And Vivian would certainly have initially felt like a leper as the tug of societal demands and the mores of the era weighed on her. I think it was filmed and written in exactly the same light as it needed to be, no more, no less. A very realistic portrait of the era and a great job, no doubt about it, and highly recommended for viewing, but I would rate it "R" for about 5-10 minutes of sex scenes, maybe "PG-13" for content.

As for the sex scenes, I can't imagine anyone not enjoying it, whatever your orientation. I did, and I'm straight as an arrow (no pun intended there either!)

See how much this out-of-print video sells for on the Net and you'll see the demand this movie still creates, which is more of a barometer of its success than anything else. I can't believe that it ever went out-of-print given the demand for it. You don't see that with just any video, and as a minor collector of rare videos I can say that for a fact.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 49 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 March 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Desert Hearts See more »

Filming Locations:

Reno, Nevada, USA

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,492,088

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,492,088
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed