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Desert Hearts [VHS]


Price: £16.95
Only 1 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Actors: Donna Deitch|Helen Shaver|Patricia Charbonneau|Audra Lindley
  • Language: English
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Disc Distribution
  • VHS Release Date: 28 Feb 1994
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RU0W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,803 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 May 2002
Format: VHS Tape
I have seen this film a dozen times and each time something new hits me. It's the story of an academic who arrives in town to get a quickie divorce from her husband. She stays on a ranch and meets the woman who will change her life. The first time I saw this film there were parts of it that made me cringe and other bits that I thought were great. The music score is full of wonderful 50's songs with 'Crazy' by Patsy Cline being the theme for the film. The film also includes the best lesbian love scene ever filmed. It's a must for all those lesbians out there looking for a happy ending.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Wildfire on 12 Feb 2004
Format: DVD
Make no mistake, I love this film but it differs significantly from Jane Rule's novel, "Desert of the Heart."
All credit to Donna Deitch for attempting such a difficult adaptation on a fairly low budget. She has captured some of the essence of the story and portrayed the characters beautifully but film does not adapt well to the nuances of the novel which is a superb development of characters, their thoughts and feelings, and the gradual transition of Vivien's (the professor's) self-dicovery from moral dilemma to total surrender.
Beautiful episodes (such as the whole of Chapter 5 where Vivian (Evelyn in the book) is first aware of her "desert of the heart", and the last chapter, are absent. Sex, approached very gradually in the book, amounts to a single scene in the film.
In case you've read the book, Deitch alters the plot in three sifgnificant ways: Frances throws Vivien out of her lodgings in disgust whereas in the book Frances' regard is sufficiently understanding that, for example, she acts as a witness in Vivian's divorce. ii) The film's closing scenes are something of a cop-out: Vivian and Cay clearly and voluntarily part. This seems to set their relationship on the level of sex, where the book suggests an enduring love: Evelyn realises just in time that she can no longer walk away from Cay. The close of the book is a real cliffhanger.
Finally, Cay's talent for cartoon drawing is omitted. It features in their developing relationship and is an early vehicle for finding themselves together in Cay's bedroom.
Although the sex scene is explicit, Deitch's treatment is extraordinarily poetic without being sentimantal. It is among the most beautiful erotic moments in film, surely. All in all, the film has many subtleties of its own and bears repeated viewing.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Sep 2004
Format: DVD
This was the first 'lesbian film' I ever saw. It remains a favourite not because it is the best but because of the wonderful way it represents its topic. The film is not a close interpretation of Jane Rule's novel but remains loyal to its spirit.
Basically a college professor goes to Reno for a quicky divorce from her husband and ends up falling for the step daughter of the owner at whose ranch she is boarding. The film progresses slowly to the scene where the two women finally give into their feelings - but it's worth the wait. Helen Shaver is great as the college professor and plays the part with enough tension to really get over her apprehension about having an affair with another woman.
One of the most remarkable things about the film is the use of music - a fantastic 50's score really gives it atmosphere. 'Tell Him He'll Have To Go' is great and of course Patsy Cline's 'Crazy' is the film's anthem.
I can't recommend this film enough. It's one of those milestones in coming out. However it is also one of those films you will love or hate. It has a'happy' ending in that both women leave together - Rule was one of the first to give lesbians a happy ending in her novels. You will be disappointed if you are expecting a 'Go Fish' type film but if you are a die hard romantic buy it today!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 April 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
(This review contains no plot spoilers!) In my view, this surely ranks as one of the great screen romances, alongside Manhattan, Brief Encounter, Notting Hill, Gregory's Girl, and Maurice. OK, so it's low budget and made in 1985, and thus doesn't have the high gloss of a bigger modern movie. But it's a gem that has that magic blend of locations, actors, period flavour, clothes, storyline and music. I'd read Jane Rule's classic novel first, then saw Desert Heats at the cinema - the film is just as good, and I knew the storyline. If you don't know how it ends (I'm not telling!), seeing this for the first time will just blow you away. A great date movie, although it probably plays best at the cinema. The DVD is widescreen and the sound-design is really very well done. So, for best appreciation: close the curtains, pump up your hi-fi sound-system, and view on a big widescreen TV -- this isn't one for viewing on a tiny standard TV way over the other side of your living room. The time at which the movie's set (1959) makes the story even more poigniant. Even though we're out in the Reno desert, San Francisco and the 1960s are just a short hop away, so you kind of mentally "fill in" the possible future. The music is just perfect, very seamless and in-keeping with the settings; thankfully this movie was made before the current fashion for jamming the soundtrack full of the latest tween bands in order to sell a few CDs ("hey, we ruin the film - so what?"). This is a super DVD - you won't disappointed.
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