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Desert Hearts (1985)

R | | Drama, Romance | 7 March 1986 (USA)
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2:03 | Trailer

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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 »

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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
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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 1959, Vivian Bell came to Reno, Nevada for a quickie divorce. Of all the people she met there, the one who surprised her the most was herself. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,862, 6 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Though the movie is set in 1959 the markings on the center line of the highway are yellow. Such lines were white until 1971 when the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices mandated a switch to yellow. See more »

Quotes

Vivian: [while kissing Cay] I don't usually feel this way at 11 o'clock in the morning.
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

Featured in Remembering Reno (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

RAVE ON
Written by Norman Petty, Bill Tilghman and Sonny West
Performed by Buddy Holly
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Women in Love
12 July 2007 | by kenjhaSee all my reviews

An uptight professor goes to Reno in 1959 to get a divorce and starts having feelings for a brash, young lesbian. In an impressive debut as a feature film director, Deitch does a good job of evoking the place and the period. Shaver brings the right touch of restraint and subdued passion to the role of the professor while Charbonneau is a bundle of energy as the woman who aggressively pursues her. Also good are Lindley as Charbonneau's mother and Akers as Charbonneau's friend. Although not graphic, the love scene between Shaver and Charbonneau is quite steamy. There isn't much of a plot but it's worthwhile spending some time with these characters.


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