7.0/10
4,916
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
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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

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Storyline

It is 1950s Nevada, and Professor Vivian Bell arrives to get a quickie 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 Reno, She Gambled Her Heart On A Different Kind Of Love See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Frances: He reached in and put a string of lights around my heart.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in 13 Reasons Why: Two Girls Kissing (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Treasure of Love
Written by Jim Shapiro and Lou Stallman
Performed by Clyde McPhatter
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Projects
See more »

User Reviews

 
Not bad, non-exploitative lesbian drama
27 August 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Solid lesbian-themed film from Jane Rule's book "Desert of the Heart" has an unusual ambiance and compelling desert locales. Set in Reno in the 1950s, Audra Lindley plays a salt-of-the-earth type who runs a ranch for women preparing their divorces. Prim and proper boarder Helen Shaver quickly becomes curious over sexy, smoky hellion Patricia Charbonneau, who enters the film driving in reverse down the wrong side of the road. A balky pace and several odd directorial touches detract, but the modestly-produced picture is frequently intriguing and absorbing. The love scenes are tasteful, while Charbonneau steals much of the acting thunder with a terrific performance. Not a landmark in gay cinema, but a step in the right direction. **1/2 from ****


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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

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,492,088

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,492,088
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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