DESERT HEARTS: 2-DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION
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Desert Hearts (Two-Disc Vintage Collection)
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Top Customer Reviews
The storyline was unique to movies at the time it was filmed, but the story is not. Anyone who has been in love with a supposed "straight" person, knows how real this movie can seem. The flirtation, the backing away, the come-hither looks, and finally the conquest all will bring back good (and painful) memories. In my opinion, the lesbian love scene between the two female leads is still the best yet on film - it sizzles without being too graphic.
I'm giving it only 4 stars because the acting is a little stilted at times (mostly from the star Patricia Charbonneau and her former on-screen love interest Dean Butler). If you can overlook that, and see the movie for what it was (lesbian/gay history) and what it is today (a great love story), you will enjoy it. The clothes, music, sets, (and the hair-dos!) are great and correct for the period.
Sit back, enjoy, and make sure your girlfriend is watching with you!
Desert Hearts is a lesbian love story, but also a story about the importance of many types of relationships between women: mother and daughter, friend and confidant. I've seen almost all the lesbian flicks that have been produced over the years, and very few of them have this one's staying power. It offers a deeply romantic and heartfelt view of lesbian love in the old-fashioned Hollywood mold, something we rarely see in the movies. The impeccable use of music is heard in the final scene, as Ella Fitzgerald croons "I Wished On The Moon." I can't imagine any person who has every loved or longed for love, whether they're gay, straight or in between, not being moved by the promise, longing and mystery expressed in that last scene.
Desert Hearts has wit, humor, pathos, a fascinating and unusual milieu, compelling leading ladies and delicious secondary roles, great music and scenery, and oh yes, some exceptionally erotic and realistic sex between two beautiful women.
What's not to like?
"Desert Hearts" is a wonderful film. It's very erotic, tender, and moving. The women's story is complemented by excellent production values and effective use of period music. The performances are superb all around. The leads are backed by a great supporting cast; Audra Lindley is particularly good in a zesty, touching performance as Cay's stepmother. But it's the powerful chemistry between Shaver and Charbonneau which ultimately drives the film. Every scene between them is one to be savored.
The DVD version of the film includes a fascinating feature-length commentary track by director Deitch. She discusses the original novel, her own relationship with novelist Rule, the casting process, the music of the film, key scenes, and much more. Particularly fascinating is the window she offers into the financial realities of independent filmmaking.
"Desert Hearts" is about romantic love between two women. It's also about a mother-daughter relationship and about friendship between women. The beautiful scenes of the land and horses as well as the casino scenes give added appeal to the story of these interconnected relationships. I highly recommend this enjoyable and touching film.
Deitch took the time to create a real place in the 50's complete with real characters. The professor played by Shaver is the perfect example of a well educated 50's woman. Readers who fault this character for not suddenly turning into a raving moonstruck lesbian after falling for Charbonneau (like the psychologist in Claire of the Moon perhaps??) are seeing her through modern eyes. In the 50's a woman who had attained the rank of Professor was very rare and that persona had to be lived to the max, in love or not. You just didn't run off and work for IBM if you got canned for impropriety! And isn't it better that Shaver's character wanted to further Charbonneau's education and chances in life rather than abandoning her decorum and finding a gay friendly job at the Casino?
This film even dared to give more than a surface treatment to the deeper reasons behind Charbonneau's mother's distaste for her relationship with Shaver. We saw her lonliness and alcoholism. Most films show characters expressing simple bigotry and leave it at that. But people usually aren't that simple.
These characters were explored rather than just presented on a mattress. This is film making....not just a lead up to sex. Its a shame Deitch didn't do more films!
Most recent customer reviews
I saw this movie when it first came out in the theatre. I just had to have a copy for home, even if it's on Netflix. It never gets old, but I do!!Published 13 months ago by scrndoor
Desert Hearts the movie is a close version of the book with some slight variation. The movie is as tasty as the book!Published on July 14 2013 by Beth
A woman's love is a priceless enlightenment, undeniably superior over the other kind of love, for its endurance, strength and wisdom. Read morePublished on July 30 2009 by Julien Kujo
This film contains what may well be the most powerful & well-done love scene I have ever seen on film. Read morePublished on June 17 2004
This movie was the first lesbain movie I truly fell in love with. I felt my self in the movie through each sceen. Read morePublished on April 25 2004
This is a wonderful movie of two gorgeous women who make love and one drops her water onto the other while they're at it. I watch that part over and over. And I'm a girl.Published on Feb. 2 2004
quite different from the fine novel upon which it is based, and yet good in its own right. sweet, witty, old fashioned. Read morePublished on Nov. 28 2003
The storyline and characters are somewhat interesting, though not as interesting as the explosive lesbian love scene near the end of the film! Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2003 by axpress
The trouble is, this film is too close to Jane Rule's gorgeous novel to separate itself, yet it cannot hope to convey the magic and subtleties painted by Jane Rule whose characters... Read morePublished on Sept. 26 2003 by Wildfire