Release date1987 (1987) (U.S.) WriterJoe Eszterhas (screenplay), Scott Richardson SongsHearts of Fire Similar moviesBob Dylan appears in Hearts of Fire and directed Renaldo and Clara
Hearts of fire trailer 1987
Hearts of Fire is a 1987 American musical drama film starring Bob Dylan, Fiona Flanagan (billed only as "Fiona") and Rupert Everett. The film was essentially a vehicle for Dylan based on his success as a rock musician. It received poor reviews, a limited theatrical release and was later written off by Dylan himself.
Originally written by Scott Richardson, the screenplay was rewritten by Basic Instinct writer Joe Eszterhas because Lorimar Productions felt that Richardson was a "baby writer" and not experienced enough to take on the responsibility of a starring vehicle for a rock icon of Dylan's stature. Hearts of Fire is also regarded as the film that "killed Richard Marquand", who had directed Return of the Jedi and died of a stroke the same year.
The film was shot in Canada (Hamilton and Toronto) at the defunct Davenport Works of the Canadian General Electric Company and the United Kingdom (Southerndown and Coney Beach at Porthcawl). The film's concert scenes were shot at the Colston Hall in Bristol, and Camden, North London (UK). Concert scenes filmed at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton Ontario
Hearts of Fire did extremely poorly in theaters. It was first released in the UK in 1987, being pulled from the theaters after approximately two weeks. As a result, the film was not even released to theaters in the United States, and was sent directly to video in 1990. Hearts of Fire was re-released once more on VHS by Warner Brothers on December 6, 1993.
To date, the film has not been released on DVD, but is available through iTunes.
Variety lamented that it was "unfortunate that the last film of helmer Richard Marquand, who died shortly after completing it, should be Hearts of Fire" and that the film failed "to fire on all cylinders despite a nimble performance by the enigmatic Bob Dylan typecast as a reclusive rock star." Channel 4 deemed the film a "blunt instrument of 80s vacuity." DVDLaser stated that it is "a really bad movie," but also that the viewer's opinion of Bob Dylan is "the key to liking or disliking the film."
Time Out London said that Dylan "hovers enigmatically on the sidelines, offering jaundiced comments."
In 1987, Columbia Records released the soundtrack to the film. Dylan was apparently originally contracted to write and contribute four new original recordings to the album, but would only turn in two original songs and one cover tune. The tracks included a cover of John Hiatt's "The Usual," along with the Dylan originals "Night After Night" and "Had a Dream About You Baby." Dylan would later release an alternate version of "Had a Dream About You Baby" on the 1988 album Down in the Groove.