Desert Hearts (1986)
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as Cay Rivvers
as Frances Parker
as Art Warner
as Joe Lorenzo
as Red Cop
as Hungarian Gambler
Critic Reviews for Desert Hearts
... this is an astonishingly polished and nuanced first film. It deserves to be celebrated, not quibbled with.
The story is not sensationalistic, although its love scene could not be more emotional. It`s a gentle story of someone being brought in from the cold.
In Desert Hearts, [Donna] Deitch takes lesbian cinema back to its future.
Desert Hearts was an important, and beautiful, first step toward a movie world where LGBTQ couples were allowed unapologetically to be themselves.
It advocates risk and consciousness in tandem as the only means to overcome the cold, repressive hand of so-called normative thought.
Audience Reviews for Desert Hearts
The story of an unexpected, atypical lesbian romance set in 1950's Reno, Nevada. If you're willing to overlook the low production quality and a few stiff performances, there's a very interesting film here. Helen Shaver is absolutely gorgeous and Audra Lindley (aka Mrs. Roper) impressed almost everyone with her portrayal of the loving but closed-minded stepmother. Overall, an enjoyable, unearthshattering respite from the never-ending onslaught of 'conventional' cinema.
One of the most sensitive stories for what it feels like to be a woman who loves women, "Desert Hearts" made quite a difference when it was released. Produced in 1985, it has been one of the most groundbreaking films of its time for the American audience- one of the many forward steps that the movie industry had to take in depicting homosexuals as beautiful and as intelligent beings as any person out there ('Making Love"  also comes to mind), and one of the very few stories that had a happy ending for a lesbian couple at the time. Helen Shaver and Patricia Charbonneau make a wonderful couple on the screen, and the love scenes among them feel tender, real and not contrived at all, just like their romance.
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