Continental Divide (film)

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Continental Divide
Continental divide.jpg
Directed by Michael Apted
Produced by Robert E. Larson
Written by Lawrence Kasdan
Starring John Belushi
Blair Brown
Allen Goorwitz
Carlin Glynn
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography John Bailey
Edited by Dennis Virkler
Production
  company
Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s)
  • September 18, 1981 (1981-09-18) (U.S.)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $15,578,237

Continental Divide is a 1981 American romantic comedy, starring John Belushi and Blair Brown. It was directed by Michael Apted from an original screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan, and executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Bernie Brillstein. Brown was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance.

An attempt was made during the promotional phase of the film's release to sell Belushi and Brown as "the new Hepburn and Tracy", calling to mind the gutsy creative chemistry and double-act performances of those yesteryear actors. This impression was not successfully carried off and Belushi's death less than six months after the film's release ensured that potential would never be.

This was the first film from Spielberg's production company Amblin Entertainment.

Plot[edit]

A Chicago newspaper reporter, Ernie Souchak (Belushi), is investigating a corrupt city councilman. After doing an expose on some corrupt land dealings by the councilman, he is assaulted by two crooked police officers sent by the councilman and ends up in the hospital.

Souchak's editor decides to send him out of town for his own safety. A city boy, Souchak reluctantly travels to the Rockies to interview the reclusive Dr. Nell Porter (Brown), who has been conducting research on bald eagles for several years.

The two are at odds at first. After finding out he is a reporter, she is reluctant to let him stay, but realizes he is not able to survive in the mountains without his guide, who is not scheduled to return for two weeks. He is skeptical about her work, but comes to admire Porter for her strong character and dedication. Eventually, they fall in love. At first she lets him stay as long as he doesn't write his story. As they learn to respect each other, she agrees to let him write about her. In his adventures, he sprains his back in an accident, is mauled by a mountain lion and meets an All-American football player who has left civilization and become a mountain man.

Souchak returns to Chicago with her still very much on his mind. When he finds out that one of his sources has been "accidentally" killed, he once again pursues the investigation until the day the councilman flees the country.

The same day, Souchak finds out that Porter is coming to Chicago to do a presentation at a symposium. With some uncertainly, Souchak decides to attend the presentation. They rekindle their relationship. Happy as they are together, they cannot reconcile the different paths each has taken in life, and so they reluctantly decide to part again.

Souchak, seeing her off on the train, ends up traveling with her all the way back to Wyoming. After getting off at her stop, they decide that they cannot do without each other, and decide to marry. The movie ends with him catching the train back to Chicago, and the newlyweds promising to meet again very soon.

Production[edit]

Singer Helen Reddy performed the ending theme, "Never Say Goodbye".

The Ernie Souchak character was loosely based on longtime Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko.

Filming locations[edit]

Many of the scenes were filmed around Chicago:

Many of the mountain scenes were filmed in Colorado, in Custer County

Other scenes were filmed at:

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]