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DESERT HEARTS: 2-DISC COLLECTOR'S EDITION

4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Denise Crosby, Dean Butler. Gwen Welles, Jeffrey Tambor Helen Shaver
  • Directors: Donna Deitch
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Collector's Edition, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • Release Date: April 9 2013
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000OVLC0W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,751 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Desert Hearts (Two-Disc Vintage Collection)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Before Ellen, kd lang, and Chastity Bono came out, there was this Lesbian genre classic, and classily done, I might add.
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!
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By A Customer on June 26 2003
Format: DVD
This lovely, bittersweet movie knocked my socks off when I saw it back in the day, and the DVD offered me another opportunity to relive the romance. It's not the most well-made movie -- the fact that it got made at all, considering the costs to the independent film maker, is a miracle. But it is peopled with believable, sympathetic characters and it is, for the most part, beautifully acted. The soundtrack is fabulous, and the CD is long overdue. The cinematography artfully features the haunting southwestern landscape, contrasting it with the period-perfect seediness of 1950's Reno.
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?
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Format: DVD
"Desert Hearts," directed by Donna Deitch, opens in Reno, Nevada in 1959. The film, which is based on a novel by Jane Rule, tells the story of Vivian (played by Helen Shaver), a prim-and-proper college professor who has come to Nevada to get a divorce. There she meets Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a lusty, free-spirited casino worker. The relationship between these two beautiful women is the focus of the film.
"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.
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Format: DVD
Lesbian films have a bad habit of making sex into some sort of miracle cure that suddenly makes maintaining a professional life, fixing your personal problems and finding out who the other person really is...totally unimportant. If the two lovers get to have sex everything is wonderful. I am a firm believer that film can not only reinforce culture but create it. Its unfortunate that this film from the 80's didn't set the standard for what was to follow it.
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!
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