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The movie, Desert Hearts, is set in 1959 and starts with a Columbia University professor of English traveling to Nevada. In Nevada the professor, Vivian Bell played by Helen Shaver, plans to establish her state residence, so she can get a divorce. Vivian lives in a guest home that was established by Francis Parker played by Audra Lindley, as a refuge for women seeking Nevada divorces.

While at the guest home Vivian meets Cay Rivvers, played by Patricia Charbonneau, Cay is a free spirited sculptor who works in Reno making change at a casino. When they meet Cay takes note of the stylish, elegant professor, while Vivian is initially put off by the sculptors devil may care attitude.

Francis, who acts the part of a parent to Cay, becomes resentful of Vivian as she and Cay eventually become friends, fearing the loss of her surrogate daughter, leaving her alone.

Francis, Cay and Vivian attend an engagement party together, later that evening as Cay is driving a drunk Vivian to Lake Tahoe she initiates a kiss. Vivian initially returns the kiss but then acts embarrassed and asks to be taken home. They return to the guest home where Francis is waiting, she has made arrangements for Vivian to leave immediately. Kicked out of the guest home Vivian spends the remainder of her wait time at a hotel.

Eventually Cay visits Vivian at the hotel where they talk about the kiss and eventually Cay convinces Vivian that there is nothing wrong with two women being together if it is what they both desire. Vivian continues to have problems accepting her role in the relationship and worries about the reactions of people in general.

Desert Hearts is rated R, runs about 1 hour and 45 minutes and is a lesbian/romantic/drama themed film. The movie is loosely based on a novel by Jane Rule and was directed by Donna Deitch.

Desert Hearts is an Drama, Romance movie that was released in 1985 and has a run time of 1 hr 36 min. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 67.

Desert Hearts is available to watch and stream, download, buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV+, FuboTV, Showtime, HBO Max, The Roku Channel, Showtime Anytime, Amazon, iTunes online. Some platforms allow you to rent Desert Hearts for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.

| 1985 | 1 hr 36 min | 7.0/10 | 67/100
Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley, Andra Akers
Donna Deitch
Produced By
Donna Deitch, Cami Taylor

Also starring Patricia Charbonneau