Desert Hearts (1985) Poster

(1985)

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9/10
Vasty underrated
seathrough828 December 2001
Reading some of the other comments, and the reviews at the time it came out, I suppose my feeling about this movie must be extremely idiosyncratic. Yet, all the people I rope in to watching this film seem to agree with me - so this is to give a counterpoint to the tepid (at best) comments I've read so far.

This is a beautifully photographed film, from beginning to end. It perfectly captures the ambiance and look of the Reno area in 1959 (I know because I was there); not just in appearance, but in the characters as well. Period music is expertly used throughout the film, with the final choice of Ella Fitzgerald's "I Wished on the Moon" a haunting and perfect end. I can't help but think that because this film was one of the first to spend several uncompromising minutes devoted to lesbian lovemaking that people tended to focus almost exclusively on that scene - and make pronouncements based on their own comfort levels with how it was filmed. This scene is really quite beautiful, but it could be left out and the sex only hinted at without harming the flow of the film. The two main characters are well-thought-out and fully realized; both fine performances (Helen Shaver is near perfect). All of the supporting characters are interesting and perfectly believable. The intelligent, witty script gives deep insight into the characters with minimal time spent. The humor is subtle but satisfying. Two examples: 1) when "the professor" comes out of her room after brooding for several days she is asked by another guest what she has been doing in there - the eccentric, grizzled ranch manager (Audra Lindley - who looks like she has been burned into the Nevada landscape)answers like a schoolmarm, "whatever it is, it's too deep for us to understand" 2) while horseback riding in the desert a Marilyn wannabe in blue jeans gets off her horse and says "my girdle is killing me!" For me this is a near perfect film. The only thing close to a criticism I can muster is the Kay character seems a bit too contemporary (but his is a very minor point and the role is well played). Unlike the other commentors, I think the characters are fascinating, each scene stands on its own as a perfect little vignette, and not only did I find the film enjoyable when it first came out, I have watched it at least 18 times since and it always holds up beautifully. Watch this movie with an open mind, void of preconceptions and value judgements, and see if you aren't enchanted (or at least entertained).
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This movie made me come to terms with my own sexuality
Seething3 September 1999
I was 17 when I first watched this movie and I had never seen a lesbian film before which treated the lesbian characters with such respect. Also, I had never seen such a passionate love scene between two women, needless to say after that scene I could no longer deny my own lesbianism. Great use of Patsy Cline's music.
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10/10
The best romantic movie
friend_city26 March 2005
It was a really beautiful movie. The director really captures the beauty of 2 women and 2 women finding true love in 1950's in the least expected situation. As you watched the film, your emotions just followed the main characters'. It is a very touching, tender, romantic movie. This is my favorite movie. I have been watching it many times since I got it.

Thumbs up for Patricia Charbonneau for her stunning performance esp. this was her first performance on films. She played this young, dark haired, beautiful, free spirited, and passionate woman, Cay, who compelled Helen Shaver to look into her heart and finally allowed herself to admit her feelings for Cay. Patricia is really HOT in this movie. Her beautiful smile, her sparkling eyes, her sexy voice, and every move of hers is really attractive and charming. How can anyone not fall for her? I wonder why she didn't become a star after this movie?! She is absolutely Gorgeous and she can really act. It is a shame that she didn't get enough recognitions for her talents as she deserves in the film industry. Helen Shaver did an excellent job as well. She played a repressed English professor, Vivian, who went to Reno for a quick divorce. After closing herself up for years, meeting and knowing Cay finally forced her to face her true emotions and admitted her feelings for Cay. These 2 characters' personalities are really opposite of each other. One enjoys order and the other is free spirited but somehow they are able to find true love with each other. This movie described really well how Helen Shaver struggled with her own feelings and the society's expectations, and the hardship the society and Cay's family gave to the same sex couple. Yet, Cay is very courageous, facing her true feelings, and chasing after who she wants, Vivian. Although there was no clear ending for these 2 women, it is still hopeful since Patricia got on the train with Helen. One can only hope for the best for these 2 women and May they live happily ever after.

The scenery views are quite beautiful. The mountain, the lake views and horses running are extra plus. The other characters are quite good such as Frances Parker, Cay's step mother. The love scene between these 2 is amazing. You can feel these 2 women's desires for each other. Vivian is initially repressed but once she follows her heart, you can feel these 2 women are truly in love and enjoy being intimate with each other. There is Great chemistry between Patricia and Helen, which makes this movie very real. The glances they exchanged with each other, the way they look at each other, and the way they talk to each other are very convincing that they are in love with each other. I love to watch the scenes between them over and over. I think they build up a strong foundation with each other, which then leads to a very believable, amazing, and erotic love making at the end.

The director, Donna Deitch, did an outstanding job. The script is nicely written. The display of emotions is appropriate in 1950's. There are wonderful background musics. Donna Deitch is really successful bringing out the outstanding performance of these 2 lead actresses. It is not easy to direct a film such as this one in 1980's and she had to raise the fund for this movie herself. Overall, it is an excellent movie, something you can watch over and over. Highly recommended.
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Kind of Sweet
Robert J. Maxwell7 November 2002
"Desert Hearts" has quite a bit going for it. It captures 1950s Reno and environs, the biggest little city in the world, pretty well: great old cars, red earth, dried twisted windspent driftwood, fragrant summer sagebrush, the noisy 7/24 casinos with 99 cent meals, suntanned faces, rickety ranch motels on the outskirts of town, snow-veined Sierras, and the pop music that is no worse than what we listen to. The story pulls one in.

Aura Lindley is the matriarch of the ranch and has bonded with one of her tenants. A new one arrives, an Eastern sophisticate, who refers to herself as a "distinguished author," and has a lot of books schlepped into her room. Discord! Helen Shaver, the professor, is rather neat and in addition to her books carries around a lot of savoir-faire. She doesn't look bad either. The movie also has going for it the presence of Patricia Charbonneau, who must have one of the most interesting crania on the planet, and the soft parts to match. She is possessed of a sinewy yet feminine figure and carries herself with presence. Her hair and her irises are the color of glowing anthracite. ("Charbonneau", indeed.) And those dazzling big choppers, appalling and appealing. She outs herself on a walk with Shaver who responds momentarily, impulsively. Jealous, Lindley throws Shaver out, suspecting something more intimate has happened than actually has.

The intimacy follows in a later scene when Charbonneau tracks Shaver to her downtown hotel room and initiates a long, erotic love scene which isn't at all pornographic or exploitative. The two women love one another, but one is after all an uptight distinguished author and the other, though equally intelligent, goes with the flow, as they say, and has been "kicked out of college for unnatural acts."

The film ends ambiguously. Can they get together? Can they compromise their life styles? Can a distinguished author carry on an affair with another woman in the 1950s? Not including Gertrude Stein? Can our desert wildflower find a home as a potted plant surrounded by geraniums on a windowsill on MacDougall Street in the Village? Will an author find happiness with a woman after her marriage to a man has ended in boredom and disaster? Will -- I forgot what the original rhetorical question was.

This is an easy movie to get through. Nothing in it leaps out at you. It doesn't pound you over the head with its modern sensibilities. We're not invited to condemn those morons back in the 50s for their attitudes towards gays, nor are we urged to feel guilty because we are accused of some lingering distaste ourselves. The movie sort of shrugs at these issues and says, well, that's the way it was. Not exactly a time that embraced gays but, at least on the outskirts of Reno, not exactly a time of torture either. One wishes Shaver and Charbonneau well as they ride off on the train into the sunset.
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10/10
An all time classic.
liam-187 September 2003
Classic is an overused term, but not in the case of this movie!. I first saw it in 1990 when I was 17 and it had a huge impact on me, I had never really enjoyed romances before with the possible exception of "Marty", but this movie with the 2 very attractive, intelligent, charming leads(Helen Shaver & Patricia Charbonneau), insightful script, subtle direction and gorgeous landscape shocked and moved me. I had never seen women express such profound sexual yearning for one another before, and even in this day of lesbian chiqe this is THE lesbian movie in my mind. I would like to see this movie given the credit it deserves, for starters I would like to see a deluxe DVD re-issue, complete with a documentry including interviews with the cast and crew, background notes about the novel it is based on "Desert of the heart" by Jane Rule, etc, etc. With the 20th anniversery approaching I think a campaign should be started to rescue this movie from "cult" status and put it where it belongs.
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8/10
Lesbians!
Spuzzlightyear4 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
OK, I know, with a title header like that, this review better be better then the title heading right? I just couldn't resist. This is one of the first Hollywood movies to ever explore Lesbianism, so why shouldn't I be allowed to shout it out? Vivian Bell, played by Helen Shaver, arrives into 1950's Fresno for a quickie divorce, boarding with a friendly mom-like landlord and her employees of her ranch. The landlord also has a step-daughter, Cay, who Bell is curiously magnetted too, and vice versa. Soon, Vivian is surprised to find her falling for Cay's advances and are soon lovers. But there is consequences to this, after all this is 1950's Fresno we're talking about here.

All the cast is great here, especially Patricia Charbonneau, who has quite a debut here, and Audra Linley, playing the landlady who I absolutely didn't recognize. (She's Mrs Roper on Three's Company fer crying out loud!) Amazingly brisk and enjoyable, I haven't seen a movie in a long time that I enjoyed without checking the time to see how much was left.
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8/10
a thoroughly entertaining and wonderful movie
junecatpower4 September 2004
I've seen this movie at least a dozen times and it never fails to make me cry. It's a simple love story, but the fact that it's two women in love in Nevada in the 1950's gives it special significance. Unlike a lot of lesbian movies that were made in the 1980's, this one isn't all doom and gloom. It's actually a movie that will make you remember being young, impulsive and in love. It leaves the

viewer feeling hopeful about the future. Vivian Bell is a professor who comes to Nevada in the 1950's for a quickie divorce from her husband. While there she

meets Cay Rivers and Cay opens up a whole new world to her and makes

Vivian realize there's more to life than her stuffy, professional existence in New York. In addition, this movie has the most touching, intimate, erotic, and soulful love scene that I have EVER seen between 2 women in a movie.
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8/10
A tender, wild, realistic ride!
jcd-1110 June 2006
I too loved this film. Growing up in Barstow in the early '60's and coming of age in the early '70's in San Francisco, I can relate to the footloose approaches, the freedom to experiment, and having things turn out okay! I also liked the textures of the film, capturing the feel of the desert, the realistic attitudes of the characters, the honesty of the rawness of the emotions. It is well shot and directed. I viewed it because I was fortunate to get to spend some time with one of the stars, Andra Akers, in '83, who was a terrific woman to be around. The lovemaking scenes are probably my favorite in all of film for their tenderness, vulnerability and realism (and I'm straight!). Highly recommended!
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A good movie and a breakthrough classic
marvelous-marv28 July 2000
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.
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9/10
Possibly the best lezzie film
vyto3414 February 2004
This is possibly the best lezzie film made thus far. It has enough production values to be attractive, yet does not have the big Hollywood machinery that grinds everything into pablum. It's also not a sex film, but it is a fine indie effort. Both Shaver and Charbonneau are highly appealing.
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9/10
Though a gay man, I find this film highly appealing, touching, and well-acted
cricket-146 May 1999
with a nice sound track (I love Patsy Cline). It has a good feel for the period in which it takes places (the late Eisenhower years.)

The theme of a lesbian coming to terms with her identity, as in this movie, is still relevant today - for a lesbian or gay man. And it is great to see finally a gay-themed movie that is NOT exploitative (like all those kinky lesbian vampire flicks) and has a happy and "gay" ending!
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6/10
refreshingly candid coming-out romance
Michael Neumann13 November 2010
While awaiting her divorce on a dude ranch outside Reno, a stiff and humorless New York City professor learns to appreciate life from the usual assortment of Silver State oddballs, finally letting her hair down for a young, uninhibited employee of one of the local casinos. It might have been just another routine romantic comedy but for the fact that the two lovers are both women, and the novelty value alone is enough to lift the film out of the ordinary. There's enough charm and offhand humor to match any mainstream, hetero romance, but make no mistake: this movie doesn't regard its lesbianism lightly, and there's an explicit bedroom interlude to prove it. The scene stops the film dead in its tracks, but director Donna Deitch (making her feature debut) has to be commended for approaching the subject with such candor and optimism (some of it a bit forced, to be sure), leaning only slightly on the awkward self-awareness usually found in a Hollywood coming-out story.
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7/10
how a lesbian love story should be made *possible spoilers*
michellelocke00712 September 2010
Warning: Spoilers
probably one of the most famous and pioneering lesbian love stories put on screen that was a fine example for shows such as the l word that would follow some twenty years later. based on the novel of the same name by Canadian author Jane rule, Donna deitch saw enormous potential for this love story that dare not speak its name to be brought to the big screen. from what i know, i believe that Donna deitch, the director put her house up to help pay for the financing of the film. finding two actors willing to take on the roles of Vivian cay was going to prove difficult as it was considered a career killer to play gay roles. fortunately Donna found two who were willing to do just that. Helen shaver and Patricia charbonneau were cast in their now synonymous roles. i appreciated the fact that the characters relationship was slowly built over a period of time and that the romance was not rushed or forced. one gets to really care about Vivian and cay as the story progresses and their feelings for one another are realized and come to full circle by the end of the movie. Vivian is the picture of the ever prim and proper and tightly wound English professor whose burgeoning passions and sexuality aren't realized till cay's arrival. Vivian is so afraid of being vulnerable and letting people into her world. i thought the love scenes were choreographed beautifully without being overly explicit or graphic for the audience. i thought their first kiss was incredibly sexy...the two of them getting caught in the rain and cay telling Vivian to roll down the window before kissing her seductively. Vivian at first resists but soon responds as they kiss passionately. the in-famous love scene is a slow build-up and you can feel the sexual tension in the air. Vivian, nervous and un-sure of what to do as she tries to brush off cay's advances and make her leave the hotel room. un-like most love scenes straight or gay, there is no annoying background music playing but only the sound of their breathing and reaction to the love-making. i had hoped there would be a sequel so one could see how the relationship developed after cay had gotten on that train with Vivian back to new york. there has been talk about a sequel from its director but nothing has been given the go ahead. i recently saw an interview with Helen and Patricia and they still look fabulous. they discussed the profound effect that the film has had on them personally and professionally. there hasn't been a lot of great lesbian movies after this one but it's nice to see that Hollywood has moved forward greatly with lesbians in cinema.
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9/10
Wonderful film and performances
hdavis-295 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw this film in its theatrical release in Toronto. I knew it was a pretty special movie back then. We talked about it with our friends, and then it quietly slipped away, replaced by more recent fare. Years later I found the video tape on a table for $5 and I bought it, remembering that I had liked it ten years earlier. This time around I liked it even more and began to re-appreciate how special some of the performances were.

Now, 15 years later, during a purge of video tapes, I've rediscovered DESERT HEARTS. I find I like it even more this time. Frankly, I couldn't care less about gay politics. I acknowledge that North America (the US and Canada, anyway) hasn't been real great in dealing with minority groups (race, religion, sexual orientation) during the past century. But I don't even see this film in terms of sexual politics. It's just a great love story dealing with the painful steps it takes to cross over any barrier. The sexual tension is palpable. Ms. Charbonneau is both gorgeous and a natural actress. The scene in the hotel room where she waits in bed for Helen Shaver is just spectacular. The supporting cast and the settings are also excellent.

I like the vintage music (when is the last time you heard Johnny Cash sing "Get Rhythm" on a soundtrack?) My one criticism concerns the abrupt fade-to-black style at the end of each brief scene. For me, it got in the way of the story telling and continuity.

Although I've discounted politics in writing this review, I have to admit that DESERT HEARTS was surely a brave film in its time. Maybe in this time, too. Kudos to those involved for taking those risks.
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7/10
Love is born in the heat of the desert.
Michael O'Keefe7 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
A sensitive drama based on a Jane Rule novel. Professor Vivian Bell(Helen Shaver)travels from New York to Reno, Nevada to get a divorce. It is 1959 and strong independent thinking women are an oddity. Frances Parker(Audra Lindley)puts Vivian up at a guest ranch, so she can meet her residency requirement for her divorce. The quiet reserved professor meets and falls in love with a young, openly lesbian woman, Cay(Patricia Charbonneau), ten years her junior.

Character development is effortless and the explicit love scenes are tender, yet hot. There is a very good soundtrack that is marred by quick and frequent fade-outs. Great music from: Patsy Cline, Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Webb Pierce, Johnnie Ray and Elvis Presley.

Rounding out the cast are Andra Akers, Alex McArthur, Gwen Welles and Dean Butler. Profanity and the lesbian love scenes garner an R rating. DESERT HEARTS makes Charbonneau a star.
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10/10
Desert Hearts
poetjourney14 August 2005
This movie, Desert hearts, is a love story of hurting hearts and hope growing. It shows both sides of the picture, the love and friendship of others accepting of a person no matter what and the typical hatred for someone being different. There is no violence whatsoever, which is refreshing. And there are no mind games played which is typical in a great deal of alternative lifestyle stories. It shows honest struggle with feelings that have never been known before. The characters selected for their roles were perfect, everyone seems quite natural and real with each other. It appears that Helen Shaver seems quite rigid in her role, but she truly portrays the clash of her proper orderly world to the new sunrise in her life. Just a slow (like a slow dance) but beautiful telling of a tale of two very different women meeting as it makes you want them to allow their hearts to feel the joy. Quiet rooting for them is allowed in this movie!
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thank you, Donna Deitch
nun of the above14 February 2000
"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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6/10
Not bad, non-exploitative lesbian drama
moonspinner5527 August 2007
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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10/10
I love this movie
katherineryanmol8 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This is awesome. Quite agree. I've heard and read so much about this film over the years,but never have a chance to watch the film.Lesbians always consider that this movie is the most classic one. Just look at cay's expression and motion,you would soon get that how much she loves this woman. If it needs,she would lay down her life for Vivian. Quite moving~.~ To tell the truth,this is the best lesbian-themed movie that I've ever seen.Though I've seen BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE~THE L WORD~BOUND~D.B.E.S......so forth,no one could make me lose in thought for such a long time.If the lesbian love is just as the movie pictured,what's so wrong to be a lesbian anyhow?
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8/10
You can't just watch this movie once
impydykiechick8 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've always heard about this movie, but never got around to seeing it until just a couple weeks ago. While watching it the first time, I wasn't impressed. I thought the cinematography was odd & some parts were hard to follow. I loved the music, but wished it didn't drown out what seemed to be important dialogue. Although I didn't really like it that much the first time, certain scenes & lines from the movie stuck with me. I watched again a few days later & LOVED IT. Since I knew the gist of what was going on I was able to follow along a lot better. Now, I don't think I could ever tire of watching it.

I knew of this movie's reputation as a "classic" but I didn't realize it was released in 1986 until after I had watched it that first time. That fact floored me. I would've loved to been old enough back then to see it for the first time on screen. I'm sure it was extremely groundbreaking.

Some may say the build up of the romance between Cay & Vivian was slow, but I thought it really worked. The attraction between the two was immediate. Cay obviously had a crush, & Vivian was intrigued. This was apparent when Vivian jumped at the chance to deliver Cay's mail. The whole love story was built around lingering glances, shy smiles, & building sexual tension.

Patricia Charbonneau & Helen Shaver deliver wonderful & believable performances. The chemistry between the two is undeniable. I'm honestly surprised that those two did not have more prosperous acting careers, especially Ms Charbonneau. Her sultry & smokey performance of Cay was spot on. Had I seen this movie when I was younger I would've been lusting hardcore over her character.

I would've given this 10 stars if the music hadn't drowned out dialogue & some lines would've been more articulate. Helen has an amazing & unique voice, but sometimes she would drop her sentences. Also, Andra Akers seemed to talk fast & drop her sentences, as well (in the bathtub w/ Cay, for example). A perfect example of the music drowning out the dialogue is when Cay & Vivian are naked together in the windowsill after the after-dinner fight. Cay says "You'll never need me as much as I need you" & we can't hear Vivian's response. This may be intentional by the director, but it drives me crazy, nonetheless.

All in all, this movie definitely needs to be in every lesbian's video library. Even though it's a movie from 1986 set in the 1950s the story is absolutely timeless.
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8/10
I don't act this way to change the world. I act this way so that the world won't goddamn change me!
lastliberal4 February 2009
The setting for this film is absolutely perfect. Gorgeous landscapes, and music (Patsy Cline, Elvis, Buddy Holly, Jim Reeves, and so much more) perfect for the period. Natalie Cooper wrote a great script that feels just right.

Patricia Charbonneau is just perfect as Cay, a free spirit that just wants to fly. She lights up the room every time she enters. She was the perfect tonic for the repressive Helen Shaver's ailment.

What I really liked was that this was a realistic love story. It wasn't about sex, but about two people finding out what they really want. It didn't end in a neat package, but with promise. It mirrored life in that respect; it just featured two women, that's all.

Audra Lindley was great as Cay's stepmother, and added more realism to the story. Andra Akers was really cool as her friend. Jeffrey Tambor was also featured in a bit part.

I just wish that I had six weeks to spend in the desert. It was so beautiful.
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7/10
Women in Love
kenjha12 July 2007
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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10/10
dessert hearts
gaea196918 July 2006
great movie The acting is first rate as is the entire production,miss shaver is hot in this one,this was

one of the first lesbian movies my second choice of lesbian movies would be the hunger, if your a fan of(Catherine Deneuve). also reminds me of me and my girlfriend whom is 10 years younger than i am shes a English teacher and I'm a artist she also thinks i look like h shaver

everything is spot on in this movie pretty convincing ,they sure did a nice love scene.

The book by Jane Rule is called "Desert of the Heart." both the book and the movie are good. Desert Hearts is basically a love story. It was the first true lesbian love story certainty this movie is the most influential lesbian movie so far i give this movie a 10 out of 10 buy the DVD
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10/10
A simply fabulous movie!
vamy28 March 2003
I was assigned the difficult task of finding this film to watch for a film criticism class I am currently taking. I was FINALLY able to find it a small, non-chain, video store, and I'm so glad I was able to track it down. It's a shame this film is so difficult to locate, because it is indeed a hidden classic. Though some may be quick to dismiss it as a "lesbian movie," it is so much more! The sex scenes that earned the film a "R" rating were very tastefully, and beautifully done. If it you able to, I highly suggest you find this movie. I went back to the movie store the next day and convinced the woman to sell me her only existing copy for $15. What a steal for such a fabulous movie!
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10/10
Like Water in the Desert
tgksr19 March 2000
When I first saw this lovely film in 1985, it was the first time that I had ever seen a movie that treated a lesbian or gay relationship in a positive light with characters that were both warm and real. As a gay man, I found this film to be like water in a desert at the time of it's release and, viewing it fifteen years later, it remains fresh and highly erotic, even in light of the movies that have followed it's lead in the last few years. Shaver and Charbonneau are wonderful (Cay is one of my all-time favorite female characters) and the late Audra Lindley gives a performance of great vulnerable humanity that will be a revelation to those only familiar with her from "Three's Company" and "The Ropers."
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