Donna Deitch’s tender, ground‐breaking debut, a landmark in queer cinema and a
triumph of independent filmmaking …

The swooning and sensual first narrative feature by Donna Deitch, Desert Hearts was
ground‐breaking upon its 1985 release: a love story about two women, made entirely
independently, on a self‐financed shoestring budget, by a woman. In the 1959‐set film, an
adaptation of a beloved novel by Jane Rule, straitlaced East Coast professor Vivian Bell
(The Colour of Money’s Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up
catching the eye of someone new, the younger free spirit Cay (Manhunter’s Patricia
Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breath‐taking desert
landscape. With undeniable chemistry between its two leads, an evocative jukebox
soundtrack, and vivid cinematography by Robert Elswit (Punch‐Drunk Love), Desert
Hearts beautifully exudes a sense of tender yearning and emotional candour.

Features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Elswit, with
  • uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring director Donna Deitch
Certificate:
TBC
Actor:
Helen Shaver

Patricia Charbonneau

Audra Lindley

Andra Akers

Gwen Welles

Dean Butler

James Staley
Director:
Donna Deitch
Region:
2
Number of Discs:
1
Main Language:
English
Run Time:
91 mins approx.
studio:
CRITERION COLLECTION
Theatrical Release Year:
1985

Desert Hearts (The Criterion Collection)

Blu-ray
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Donna Deitch’s tender, ground‐breaking debut, a landmark in queer cinema and a
triumph of independent filmmaking …

The swooning and sensual first narrative feature by Donna Deitch, Desert Hearts was
ground‐breaking upon its 1985 release: a love story about two women, made entirely
independently, on a self‐financed shoestring budget, by a woman. In the 1959‐set film, an
adaptation of a beloved novel by Jane Rule, straitlaced East Coast professor Vivian Bell
(The Colour of Money’s Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up
catching the eye of someone new, the younger free spirit Cay (Manhunter’s Patricia
Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against a breath‐taking desert
landscape. With undeniable chemistry between its two leads, an evocative jukebox
soundtrack, and vivid cinematography by Robert Elswit (Punch‐Drunk Love), Desert
Hearts beautifully exudes a sense of tender yearning and emotional candour.

Features:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by cinematographer Robert Elswit, with
  • uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary from 2007 featuring director Donna Deitch
Certificate:
TBC
Actor:
Helen Shaver

Patricia Charbonneau

Audra Lindley

Andra Akers

Gwen Welles

Dean Butler

James Staley
Director:
Donna Deitch
Region:
2
Number of Discs:
1
Main Language:
English
Run Time:
91 mins approx.
studio:
CRITERION COLLECTION
Theatrical Release Year:
1985
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