Desert Blue (1998)


Desert Blue (1998)

An academic obsessed with "roadside attractions" and his tv-star daughter finally discover the world's largest ice cream cone, the centerpiece for an old gold-rush town struggling to stay on the map. They end up staying longer than expected because of an accident that spilled an unknown cola ingredient all over the highway. They spend the next few days with the various residents of the town which include a teenage girl who loves to blow things up and a boy trying to keep alive his fathers dream of building a beachside resort in the middle of the desert.
IMDb   6.1 /10
TheMovieDb    5.6 /10
RottenTomatoes  37 %
FilmAffinity   5.0 /10
Director Morgan J. Freeman
Writer Morgan J. Freeman
Release Date
Runtime1h 30min
Content RatingR (R)
AwardsAwards1 nomination
CompanyIgnite Entertainment, HSX Films
Pete Kepleras Pete Kepler
Blue Baxteras Blue Baxter
Skye Davidsonas Skye Davidson
Ely Jacksonas Ely Jackson
Prof. Lance Davidsonas Prof. Lance Davidson
Caleas Cale
Sandyas Sandy
Haley Gordonas Haley Gordon
Billy Baxteras Billy Baxter
Dr. Gordonas Dr. Gordon
Deputy Keeleras Deputy Keeler
Caroline Baxteras Caroline Baxter
Jerry Agee
Jerry Agee
Insurance Agentas Insurance Agent
Sheriff Jacksonas Sheriff Jackson
Richmond Arquette
Richmond Arquette
Truck Driveras Truck Driver
Agent Frank Bellowsas Agent Frank Bellows
Nate Moore
Nate Moore
Agent Redas Agent Red
Agent Greenas Agent Green

Desert Blue

Desert Blue is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Morgan J. Freeman, starring Brendan Sexton III, Kate Hudson, Christina Ricci, Casey Affleck, Sara Gilbert and John Heard.


A rising Hollywood starlet (Hudson) becomes "marooned" in a small desert town while on a roadtrip with her father. There, she gets to know the town's rather eccentric residents, including one (Ricci) whose hobby is pipe bombs and another (Sexton) who is trying to carry out his father's dream of building a waterpark in the desert.


  • Casey Affleck as Peter Kepler
  • Brendan Sexton III as Blue Baxter
  • Kate Hudson as Skye Davis
  • Christina Ricci as Ely Jackson
  • John Heard as Prof. Lance Davidson
  • Ethan Suplee as Cale
  • Sara Gilbert as Sandy
  • Isidra Vega as Haley Gordon
  • Peter Sarsgaard as Billy Baxter
  • Rene Rivera as Dr. Gordon
  • Lee Holmes as Deputy Keeler
  • Lucinda Jenney as Caroline Baxter
  • Jerry Agee as Insurance Agent
  • Daniel Von Bargen as Sheriff Jackson
  • Richmond Arquette as Truck Driver
  • Michael Ironside as Agent Frank Bellows
  • Nate Moore as Agent Red
  • Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine as Agent Green
  • Aunjanue Ellis as Agent Summers
  • Fred Schneider as KBLU Radio DJ (voice)
  • Liev Schreiber as Mickey Moonday (voice)
  • MacDaddy Beefcake as Telly Clems (voice)


The soundtrack features songs by The Candyskins, Rilo Kiley, Janis Ian, and others.


Rotten Tomatoes, review aggregator, reports that 37% of 19 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating was 5/10. Glenn Lovell of Variety called it "a cloying, mechanically plotted comedy". Lawrence van Gelder of The New York Times wrote, "he graceful literary and directorial touch of Morgan J. Freeman turns these youngsters into individuals rather than cinema's customary caricatures". John Anderson of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "It's a small story, perhaps even an ephemeral movie, but Desert Blue also has a novelistic capacity for character and setting, without either the maudlin sentimentality or gratuitous vulgarity of most teen-oriented movies." Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times rated it three out of four stars and compared it to The Last Picture Show and U Turn, saying that it is the "herbal tea" version of the latter. Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly rated it C and described the setting as "yet another indie drama set in a burg reminiscent, by way of aggressive eccentricity, of TV's Northern Exposure."