Film / Desert Hearts

A 1985 film loosely based on Jane Rule's autobiographical 1964 novel Desert of the Heart. Directed by Donna Deitch.

In 1959, Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver), a middle-aged English professor from New York City, comes to Reno, Nevada for a quickie divorce. There, she meets Cay Rivvers (Patricia Charbonneau), a free-spirited young casino employee-cum-sculptress who is openly lesbian. Cay soon admits that she's strongly attracted to Vivian, who's shocked—especially as she gradually realizes that the feeling is mutual...

Desert Hearts is regarded as a classic of queer cinema. It's one of the first films to portray a lesbian relationship positively, and its more-or-less Happy Ending pointedly contrasts with earlier movies about lesbians in which one of the women either dies or becomes heterosexual. Not surpringly, it has a strong LGBT Fanbase.

Desert Hearts contains examples of: