17 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 »



(screen story), (story)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rose Chismore
Lily Chismore
Robin (as Jay D. Underwood)
Desiree Joseph ...
Dee Ann Chismore
Dusty Balcerzak ...
Barbara Jo Chismore
Mr. Mosol
Tressi Loria ...
Laura Rasmussen ...
William Lang ...
Jim McCarthy ...
Mrs. Muratore
Rick Schieffer ...
Mr. Brandal
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)  »

Also Known As:

A Flor do Deserto  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,797, 20 April 1986, Limited Release

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Winona Ryder auditioned on video for the part of Rose. 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

Oscar-worthy acting by Jon Voight; good story
6 February 2008 | by See all my reviews

This film story initially appeared to be a more or less typical coming of age story of a teenage girl, set in the '50's at the height of the atomic bomb testing age in the desert southwest, but ended up being a sad and multi-faceted story of unrealized potential, chronic physical pain, alcoholism, paranoia, abuse, spousal enabling, ruined family potential, and of a daughter's loss of love and trust in her father due to the results of his very human and typical response to great pain....self medication by alcohol. That, plus another very typical male response by her father to excessive temptation by his wife's sister who, without a care for the family unit, threw her many sexual charms at her drunk brother in law. Weak as he was in all ways he still responded, to great familial damage. Just too many human flaws and life burdens for any family to survive intact, and this one was no exception.

There are some outstanding acting performances in history that I think have gone outrageously unrewarded by Oscar. A few are the 1956 portrayal of Vincent van Gogh by Kirk Douglas in Lust For Life, Karen Black in Five Easy Pieces, Kevin Kline in Sophie's Choice, Tim Roth in Rob Roy, and Jon Voight in this film. When Voight was on screen, I could not see anyone else. That defines acting greatness, and was the case with the other performances stated. And, I find it very interesting that 4 of these 5 roles demonstrated an obvious form and level of mental illness. Maybe all of them did. Interesting point.

If you have ever known anyone who was forced to live with great chronic pain you may better understand the quality of Voight's performance, his very obvious pain resulting from severe WWII wounds that he knew would dog him mean every day of his tortured life. I knew someone with that great pain, and Voight's performance was so spot on I could not believe that someone without that pain could portray it so realistically.

You want to see truly great acting? Do yourself a favor and see Jon Voight in this film and get the rest of the well made story as a bonus.

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