Desert Hearts


Time Out says

To Reno (in 1959) comes a mid-thirtyish New York teacher, her hair in a bun and her nerves in shreds, in search of a divorce from a stultified marriage. She puts up at a local ranch, and it's not long before she is succumbing to the advances of a much younger woman, though not without resistance. Suspicions that the film will simply be a period piece, viewed through the modern lens of post-feminist wishful thinking, are soon allayed however. Redneck Reno might still adhere to the old frontier notions of anything-goes morality, but it still harbours enough of the puritan spirit to make life uncomfortable for lesbians. Moreover, the ranch is more of an emotional snake-pit than first appears. Deitch is well served by Shaver as the teacher and Charbonneau as the young seducer. Best of all, however, is the way the movie dignifies all its characters. There is also an incendiary consummation of the affair, and Patsy Cline on the soundtrack; two features which had this paleneck by the throat. CPea.

By: CPea


Release details

93 mins

Cast and crew

Donna Deitch
Natalie Cooper
Helen Shaver
Patricia Charbonneau
Audra Lindley
Andra Akers
Dean Butler
Gwen Welles
James Staley
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