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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Written by Joe Esterhas who penned Basic Instinct and Flashdance, apparently. Also the last thing Richard Marquand directed, also apparently. Rupert Everett as a New Romantic pop idol (Joe Colt), and he's quite convincing as usual, even if his music (by John Barry, apparently) and the rest of the fake musician names (Billy Walker, Pepper Ward, etc) aren't.

    Basically Bob Dylan, a blue-collar American rocker meets Thatcherite England while a groupie who says she isn't a groupie because she plays a guitar tags along. There's no valid emotional content in this film that was put there intentionally, but there are plenty of bizarre and hilarious scenes to savour. Bob skinny-dipping fully clothed, and of course The Punch.

    For music fans of a certain age - who are the only people likely to enjoy this, this movie has the Bobster, Ian Dury, Richie Havens, Ronnie Wood, Fred Fairbrass(!), Reg Presley and you may be able to spot a few more uncredited liggers. Such is Bob's charisma that everybody wanted in, and he's also very dishy in this, apparently.

    But as we all know, Bob, who is a top-drawer songwriter, cannot act for toffee. Elvis Presley was a better actor than Bob. At least Elvis didn't look as though he was forcing himself not to look at the camera. Bob's obvious impatience with the filming process corresponds to his apparent impatience with the recording process - witness his habit of dashing off albums in one take; that wasn't the Elvis way either. However, some of the fake live footage of 'Billy' and his band is as good as Bob Live gets, even if Fiona spoils it with her Backwoods Suzi Quatro act.

    Bob Dylan made some of his worst albums in the Eighties; he also made this movie which is so bad it isn't bad, and which future Dylan fans will have to content themselves with as probably the best record of him as a working rock musician. Bob, as ever, has the last laugh. That's why we love him.
  • Bob Dylan once said that hearing the voice of Elvis Presley for the first time was "like bustin' out of jail." So what exactly is this thing called "Hearts of Fire"? Dylan's attempt to pay tribute to Elvis movies like "Spinout" and "Tickle Me"? This is a bad film, a very bad film. Dylan is the only interesting thing about it. It's not his performance or his songs (none of the ones he wrote for the film are memorable) that make it interesting, though. Rather it's just the fact that he agreed to be associated with it at all. Trying to figure out why he decided to take a role in this film will leave you feeling as baffled as Mr. Jones in the famous song.
  • ..if you're not a fan of either, you may not be able to stand the cheese!

    Well, it seemed pretty low-budget; not many characters get introduced. Though the script didn't have much, it was still better than having stupid dialogue..

    For Dylan fans, if you've seen <Don't Look Back> or even interviews with him, you already know that he likes doing things his way, and sometimes pushing people's buttons. That's why it's funny to watch him "sleepwalk" through his character, as someone said, you have a feeling you're watching "the" Bob on a set acting, and *that's* hilarious! Punching someone, trashing his hotel room, etc. I only wish there was even more romance going on between Bob and Fiona :)

    Fiona's really cute and sexy, and has a great voice; she defines the 80's rock star.

    Rupert Everett was just a tiny baby way back then, playing the "next generation -big $ 80's music industry" part well. It seemed like his mullet had been growing out since it was cut to look like Bono's..If it was even real..

    A decent flick..watch it for Dylan, Fiona, and the wonderful music they play together. And the Zim punching Everett's character is just classic/charming!

    -Heidi
  • You have to really love the guy to watch this film. It's pretty bad, but, he looks great! The songs. . . well, I've heard better. And, who is Fiona????!!!

    Some great cameos. . . and was that Mick Jagger in the audience at one of the concerts??? I think so.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Picture the scene; Dylan's early 80's career has stagnated. Prince has just released Purple Rain to a rapturous audience and critical acclaim. A die-hard fan gets the job of directing, and before you can say ego-massage, Hearts Of Fire is born.

    Yes it's a terrible movie but I have deep affection for it; I spent my teenage years with my best friend mooning over Bob Dylan-as-a-young-man and this was always a treat when it appeared late at night on BBC2. Hearts Of Fire generated countless corny catchphrases we still use today, which says something surely. Come on, back me up here...

    Briefly, the story goes: one-time rock star Billy Parker sweeps into town, chats up ambitious young waitress. Takes her to London. Enter up and coming heart throb James Colt to irritation of Parker and excitement of young girl. Girl and Colt get it together. Tug of love ensues. Young girl is mentored by old timer, young girl releases record of her own, a mild success. James Colt flakes. They all go their separate ways. Dylan is a loser in love but his integrity and dignity remain intact. The end.

    What became of the actress Fiona Flanagan is anyone's guess, she wasn't that bad, quite pretty, a bit over-theatrical but she was probably trying to make up for Dylan's stupor throughout. Rupert Everett burst out of the closet some ten years later, and Bob Dylan never appeared as Billy Parker the ramblin' bluesman every again. Actually I'm not sure he appeared on the silver screen ever again after that - the man is better behind a mic, I think even he would agree.

    To conclude? Hearts of Fire is the absolute guilty pleasure, watch it for the laughs, the tears, the hopes, the dreams; I for one will continue to scan the TV schedules in the hope of yet another cheesy viewing. Can you get it on DVD?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I am a Rupert Everett fan so I knew I had to see this despite a horrible memory of watching it years ago when I had no idea who R.E was. The main problem is that only R.E seems capable of acting and he's trying to hold himself back. What is even stranger is a folk star a girl who plays what I'd describe as heavy metal and a New Romantic are all supposed to be a mix that will work. The best thing you can do is read Rupert's description of this fool of a girl jumping out of bed when she hears he's gay .........a groupie who'd hung about with The Doors I read somewhere .Dylan is worse than awful , it's a mess with no story and no real idea of who it's trying to appeal to. I gave it 3 for Rupert's stand-out acting in one of the worst films ever.
  • I don't know how this movie was funded and let alone released on any medium. No, wait, I do, two words: Bob Dylan. This movie is awful and yet my friends and I can't stop watching it. First off, it stars a nobody (Fiona) who does not carry herself at all well. For her sake, I will blame her performance on lack of experience. Then there is the editing... lets just say that brevity was not a strong point. An example, about a minute and a half of Fiona yelling "screw you" back and forth to her boss. Doesn't one or two "screw you"s say enough - get on with it.

    But neither of these items are half as bad as the script which makes no sense. Early on Billy Parker (Dylan) is asked why he is in town and answers with telling a story about how his parents met, then he says why he is in town. Or this piece of dialogue:

    Dylan: When was the last time you wrote a song?

    Everett: 2 years.

    Dylan: And the last time you toured?

    Everett: A year and a half.

    (Pause)

    Dylan: Got any Johnny Cash albums?

    Everett: A few.

    Dylan and Everett: (Uncontrollable laughter)

    What? Huh? So many bad lines so little writing space.

    And despite all this I enjoyed watching this film. It's like that wrecked car on the road, you've seen it before but have to watch it through. I must say I enjoyed watching Dylan, listening to the poor 80's music, Timmy Cappello on drums, and the various mullets (Rupert's was inspiring). Also, I enjoyed the worst (and funniest) punch in film history so much, that I replay it at least three times each time I watch the film.
  • I saw it only once on TNT a year or less ago, and not even from the beginning.

    I write this for music enthusiasts, not for movie-insiders.

    This 'flick', how one nowadays seems to call a film, is, as another commentator says, really 'brilliant', but she (Miss 'Heidi') misses the point in a film-academic perspective which is not relevant to youngsters.

    Young and pure people are interested in personalities, their private characters in connection with what their doing in reality or in a so-called 'fiction' which reflects this 'reality'.

    If you're mad about the Eighties, as many Twens and 'Thirths' like my never moderate self are, then you'll become mad about this movie.

    I Think one of the best scenes is when Molly MCguire is performing live in a relatively small Hall, and she starts that strong singing, and the camera goes to the producers and record company representatives, showing clearly their innermost admiration and feeling of something great and in front of all: new (but very old!). Then in another scene she is shown alone at home, gripping a very nice soft and very virtuos tune out of her guitar and singing extremely nice to it.

    The Plot is really not interesting. It shows Molly MCGuire as musically talented, but immature as a human being and unexperienced in the choice of sexual partners, so she falls for the Writer of 'Tainted Love', that eighties-hit, which is shown at the end of the film. She has paradox feelings about him, her ex-lover, because he is irresponsible (has a daughter and leaves her to an internee - once Billy played by Bob Dylan asks him, the young Eighties-Newcomer, when he wrote his last song, and he answers 'two years ago'. The main moment of the film to me!

    So this movie has a surface defined by the movie industry, but also goes deeper - on one hand, some of those guys in Hollywood appreciate good music, good and earnest music, on the other, a critical - and therefore: good movie watcher, and first of all: a good CRITIC should be able to distinguish superficial entertainment from the one reality and mirror we all have and cannot deny: Which is and will always be music itself, not us playing.

    And You won't forget the hard n heavy drummer of the band when he finally gets his thing in the scene I mentioned where they perform in the hall with the record folks behind the glass listening to the P.A. (the music monitoring and mixing device)! And of course cunning but nevertheless so wise Bob Dylan and this Fiona - I'm gonna buy all available records of her. Then I will comment this movie again only in concern of her, the one wo plays Molly.

    most sincerely,

    Joshua Gainsborough
  • Ok, the story is cliche and basically not-so-good. What got me through the entire film was Fiona and Bob Dylan. Fiona's music was incredible! And I always love watching Dylan sing/play (if not act). And while Fiona's acting was passable, she is very telegenic; she looks quite good on screen.

    I never heard of Fiona, but apparently she made several albums, then disappeared from the music scene. Her full name is Fiona Flanagan. I'd love to find some more of her music.

    Actually, even as poor as the film was, I'd like to find a copy of the soundtrack. About half the tracks are suppose to be hers.
  • It took me 2yrs to run down this movie and I dont know why I did;it was so bad I shut it off half way through. Maybe I was expecting too much because I love everything THE MASTER ever did,even the CD I got with him and Tiny Tim.The movie,even though I hadnt see it for years,is something that should of been called "JOSSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS COME ALIVE" One thing Im happy with is that Bob didnt take off his clothes at the lake.If there are any BOBCATS reading this take my advice-DONT RUN THIS DOWN
  • Hmmm. A "Bob Dylan movie" I'd never heard of before and thought to myself Oh no, not again. Surely it couldn't be worse than, say, Masked and Anonymous, or the saga of Renaldo and Clara? So I started to read some reviews and was surprised at how bad it's supposed to be. In the end, I was reticent to even watch it. Well I did just watch it and for me, I enjoyed it thoroughly.

    It's definitely not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch. The draw card for me was seeing Dylan in an old movie. Wasn't expecting much, (expecting to fall asleep).

    It's difficult to say if a viewer has no interest in Dylan, (or Fiona), what the reaction would be. This movie is nearly 30 years old. Dylan is usually no great actor in films. Here he seems to be "acting" as himself, (whoever he is), with some iconic lines.

    It's definitely a much better movie than many critics portray it as. Better than a lot of the new crap I've suffered through.
  • And not even for all Dylan fans I'm afraid. I know some who hate this movie. I enjoyed it in a soap operaish kind of way. If HE wasn't in it, I'd never watch it again. But HE is, so I bought it and have watched it three times (and counting).
  • This should be the classic of all the dramas which intends to lead by something more than a story.Music naturally seems to fit in it and the surroundings are pretty documentary and simple.The "sleepy"town and an "ordinary"girl with husky voice and not so handsome guy brightens. Personally I saw the girl as the symbolic of AMERICA,living to keep and show her passion,with a lion like hair and never try to hide it.
  • vaamiller13 May 2010
    When Hearts of Fire first came out on VHS, I rented it and my 13 year old daughter and I curled up with a big bowl of popcorn and watched. We groaned and we laughed and had a good time. I don't know what people were expecting when they saw this film. The preview photos provided a big clue of what was coming. It amazes me this film gets the bad rap that it does. It was my introduction to Rupert Everett, and I'm glad, because I've really enjoyed a lot of his films over the years. Dylan has held a place in my heart and record collection (beginning with records, then tapes, then CDs, now MP3) since his first album. And I enjoyed new-comer Fiona and was surprised she didn't have more of a career than she did. Although, I've discovered watching Dylan in film over the years, it helps if you view the film as if you're watching poetry in motion.

    In the past year, I found a used VHS in excellent condition online, and am happy to have it in my film collection, although I'd prefer it on DVD. Films and rock music: how seriously can these things be taken?
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved the movie. I LOVE BOB Dylan!!!!! Bob is so cute in this movie. I think Fiona's singing is that she is only screaming. She cannot sing. I am sorry. I am one of those who only bought the movie because of Bob. His songs are good, his acting is OK. I think he is acting himself, and not having to put any effort into it. I like the fact that he even agreed to do this movie, being that Bob is supposed to be considered a recluse. There are a few funny moments and those are Memorex moments. LOL Bob does show a caring feeling at times, and I believe it is from his heart. I like the part when Bob tells Fiona at the beginning that Rupert's music sucks. That was cute. Also, when Bob puts the harmonica up to the bus driver's neck pretending he had a knife. That was cute. But only in the movies.... Only in the movies. This movie is DEFINITELY recommended for Dylan fans.
  • Best part, when Fiona goes to Parker's house with her demo tape, and Parker is sleeping. He gets out of bed in his long johns, puts on jeans and goes on the porch. He lifts up his shirt and pulls up his zipper. Sorry guys. That's waaaaaaay better than the punch.

    Someone previously posted he was glad Dylan didn't take off his clothes during the lake scene. I, on the other hand, was extremely disappointed.

    I did read in a book that there was a nude Dylan scene that was deleted from the movie. It was dropped before the film was sold to Lorimar. It didn't show much but the side of him rolling around in bed with Fiona. Would have liked to have seen that too.

    Since I thought Bob was smokin' hot in 1986/7, I feel this movie is better than adult entertainment. lol Now who owned that before Lorimar bought it? Maybe they have that "deleted scene."