16 user 8 critic

Desert Bloom (1986)

The story involves Rose Chismore's youth. She flashes back and remembers her coming-of-age. Her recollections are sometimes less than sweet, particularly those of her troubled and alcoholic... See full summary »


Eugene Corr


Linda Remy (screen story), Eugene Corr (story)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 win. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Annabeth Gish ... Rose Chismore
Jon Voight ... Jack Chismore
JoBeth Williams ... Lily Chismore
Ellen Barkin ... Aunt Starr
Jay Underwood ... Robin (as Jay D. Underwood)
Desiree Joseph Desiree Joseph ... Dee Ann Chismore
Dusty Balcerzak Dusty Balcerzak ... Barbara Jo Chismore
Allen Garfield ... Mr. Mosol
Tressi Loria Tressi Loria ... Shelly
Laura Rasmussen Laura Rasmussen ... Meryl
William Lang William Lang ... Colonel
Jim McCarthy Jim McCarthy ... Driver
Ann Risley ... Mrs. Muratore
Rick Schieffer Rick Schieffer ... Mr. Brandal
Irene Goodnight Irene Goodnight ... R.C. Volunteer


The story involves Rose Chismore's youth. She flashes back and remembers her coming-of-age. Her recollections are sometimes less than sweet, particularly those of her troubled and alcoholic stepfather. Her memories of Robin, her first love, are much happier, and she also recalls her colorful Aunt Starr, whose visit is fun, but also detrimental to her family's health. The setting of 1950s Nevada bomb testing is increasingly significant to the development of the story. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

18 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Flor do Deserto See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,797, 20 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Winona Ryder auditioned on video for the part of Rose. See more »


Referenced in E! True Hollywood Story: Winona Ryder (2002) See more »


Written by Vaughn Horton
Performed by Patti Page
Courtesy of Polygram Special Projects
A division of Polygram Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

23 February 2009 | by tupungatoSee all my reviews

Desert Bloom belongs on a list of the ten most underrated movies of the last thirty years. An original setting -- no Rock and Roll pioneers, professional sports heroes, or other aspect of popular culture in this look at 1950's life in the U.S. -- excellent acting; and a believable, thought-provoking story; Desert Bloom has much to hold a viewer's interest.

I realize that Desert Bloom, a story about common people and mostly devoid of action, may not appeal to the many people who look to movies for diversion and entertainment. For the person who enjoys films that cause one to reflect and to experience more than a thrill, however, Desert Bloom will probably make him feel that he has chosen a very meaningful way to spend two hours.

While Jon Voight, as a rigid and occasionally explosive World War II veteran, gives a performance that rivals any of his other roles, and Jo Beth Williams, as his unfailingly optimistic and codependent wife, portrays her part convincingly, the work of Annabelle Gish leaves the most profound impression. The oldest daughter in a dysfunctional family (Voight and Williams as her troubled parents), Gish tells the story of her teenage years in retrospect as a forty-something adult.

Speaking with the firmness and controlled confidence of someone who has had to endure, Rose (Gisch) indicates that she has not only survived her father's alcoholism and abuse, but also that the quality of her life has progressed well beyond the one afforded by her parents' pathetic relationship. More importantly, though, Rose makes the viewer aware that at a time when the U.S. military was developing weapons powerful enough to devastate any foe, some children were feeling nearly powerless in their own homes in the face of real threats to their safety.

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