Dalva (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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Please ignore this film and read the book.
elskoi7 September 2004
"Dalva" is based on an outstanding novel by one of the US's best writers, Jim Harrison. Whoever put this movie together had no idea what the book was about nor how shallow his mind was. Harrison managed a remarkable feat by writing a fun, exciting, sexy, history-encompassing novel from a woman's point of view. And it's set in Western Nebraska. Now who else has done that?

The book contains no clichés, no stereotypic characters, no embarrassing bits of dialogue. The film is built on these qualities. I'm sure excellent actors like Powers Boothe, Peter Coyote, and Rod Steiger read the book and said "Let's do this!" I doubt they knew Farrah Fawcett was going to play the lead nor that Mitchell (author of "Club Med") was writing the script.

The scenery in the film is OK, but the novel "Dalva" contains some of the best descriptions you'll ever read. If you think Farrah is the best actress you know of, watch the movie. You'll find it cute and romantic. If you have a brain, read the book and check out Boothe or Steiger or Coyote in lots of other films.

This film is like making a swimming pool out of the Pacific Ocean. It's an insult to the author of "Legends of the Fall" and many other outstanding books.
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4/10
High-toned soap with cowboy hats
moonspinner5529 November 2017
Dalva is the granddaughter of a rancher in Nebraska, white but with an Indian heritage, who is discouraged by grandpa in her love affair with the handsome Native-American boy she wants to marry and whose child she carries. Seems gramps neglected to mention when the two kids first met that they were half-siblings (that might have discouraged them from making love in the hayloft!). 30 years after the baby was taken away by adoption authorities, Dalva wants to pick up the threads of her past. TV-made adaptation of the well-regarded book by Jim Harrison is filled with acting talent (Farrah Fawcett in the lead, Rod Steiger, Carroll Baker, Peter Coyote and Powers Boothe in support), but is pieced together by director Ken Cameron into some sort of soggy bucolic valentine, dappled with sunlight and morning dew. Fawcett is still doing the little-girl act she began with 1994's "The Substitute Wife", only worse (lots of over-the-shoulder, fawn-like glances and coy, trembling smiles). Fawcett reads Dalva's journal in voice-over as if the lazy-hazy descriptions of love were poetry, but the whole thing is strenuous and draining. Laurel Holloman, as an outrageous flirt with a shovel-wielding father, livens up the scenario--why wasn't the movie about her?
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