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Desert Hearts

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts

Wolfe Video

The Bottom Line

Desert Hearts is one of the first lesbian films I ever saw, and remains one of the best. Lesbian Director Donna Deitch made a romantic lesbian love story that has withstood the test of time.
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  • One of the first lesbian films
  • Gorgeous Cinematography
  • Great sex-scene


  • None to speak of


  • Desert Hearts, 1985
  • Director: Donna Deitch
  • Based on the novel Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule
  • 91 minutes, filmed in the United States
  • Cast: Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Andra Akers, Dean Butler.

Guide Review - Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts, based on the book Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule is a beautiful film. When it was released in 1985, it was one of the first films made by a lesbian for a lesbian audience. Needless to say, it was a huge success and paved the way for other films to come.

The film is set in 1959 in Reno, NV. Vivian, an English professor has come to Nevada to apply for a divorce. Local ranch girl lesbian Cay immediately falls for Vivian. Vivian is intrigued, but somewhat uptight. It is 1959 afterall!

Eventually Cay and Vivian end up in bed together in what remains one of the best lesbian love scenes on film. Both actors are beautiful and they do a fine job of acting the desire of one woman for another.

Although some drama ensues with Cay's family, the film ends on an up-beat, yet believeable note.

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