|Hearts of Fire|
VHS cover of Hearts of Fire
|Directed by||Richard Marquand|
|Produced by||Doug Harris|
|Written by||Joe Eszterhas|
|Music by||John Barry|
|Edited by||Sean Barton|
|Distributed by||Lorimar Motion Pictures|
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 poorly in theaters. It was first released in the UK in 1987 and was pulled from the theaters after approximately two weeks. As a result, the film was not released to theaters in the United States.
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."
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 only turned in two original songs and one cover song. 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 later released an alternate version of "Had a Dream About You Baby" on the 1988 album Down in the Groove.