Continental Divide

Continental Divide

4.0 1
Director: Michael Apted

Cast: John Belushi, Blair Brown, Allen Garfield

     
 

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Michael Apted directed and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay for this diverting romantic comedy -- a film that attempts to recapture the spirit of an old Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn vehicle. A very subdued John Belushi plays a star columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times named Ernie Souchak (but loosely based on columnist Mike Royko) who uses his column as a direct

Overview

Michael Apted directed and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay for this diverting romantic comedy -- a film that attempts to recapture the spirit of an old Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn vehicle. A very subdued John Belushi plays a star columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times named Ernie Souchak (but loosely based on columnist Mike Royko) who uses his column as a direct line to report on the dirty dealings at Chicago City Hall. When his political reports on a local corrupt alderman get too hot, Ernie is sent to the Rocky Mountains to do a fluff piece on reclusive ornithologist Nell Porter (Blair Brown). Ernie arrives at her mountain hideaway, but Nell is hostile and orders him to leave. Ernie informs her that his guide won't return for a few weeks and she reluctantly permits him to stay. The two first learn to put up with each other and then their aversion slowly turns into love.

Editorial Reviews

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With all the heavy hitters on hand for Continental Divide -- star John Belushi, director Michael Apted, screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, producer Steven Spielberg -- you'd expect something more distinctive than lightly comic romantic fluff, whose primary theme is "opposites attract." This is not to say that Continental Divide fails at carrying out its slight intentions, just that viewers might be surprised by the low yields from that kind of collision of talent. Belushi fans will definitely want to see this film, as it was his penultimate theatrical release, and hinted at what he might have been capable of beyond pratfalls. It's never quite believable that Blair Brown's eccentric eagle tracker would fall for Belushi's chain-smoking columnist -- nor is she half as eccentric as such a mountain recluse would likely be. In this way and others, including Belushi trying to humorously fend off the attacks of several wild animals, Continental Divide slouches toward a sitcom middle ground. Apted is better off when he lets Belushi's abilities lend natural whimsy to everyday exchanges, rather than resorting to more high-concept set pieces that don't work, such as the pair's interactions with a former football great-turned-mountain man. Kasdan's script also gets a little soppy near the end with a protracted series of false goodbyes. In part because it was such a departure for Belushi, his core audience failed to drive Continental Divide to the box-office heights of Animal House and The Blues Brothers, leaving it as something of a flop. Over time, it has come to be thought of as a more fond and dignified way to remember Belushi than just as a bellowing buffoon.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/01/2003
UPC:
0025192268328
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Time:
1:43:00
Sales rank:
10,629

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Belushi Souchak
Blair Brown Nell
Allen Garfield Howard
Carlin Glynn Sylvia
Tony Ganios Max Bernbaum
Val Avery Yablonowitz
Liam Russell Deke
Everett Smith Fiddle
Bill Henderson Train Conductor
Bruce Jarchow Hellinger
Eddie Schwartz Jimmy
Harold Holmes Mr. Feeney
Elizabeth Young Mrs. Feeney
Ron Dean Plesko
Frankie Hill Agatha
Mike Bacarella Delaney
Zaid Farid Mugger
Jack Decker Police Thug
Ben Rawnsley Police Thug
Dallas Alinder Alderman
Yana Nirvana Blonde
Joe Wright Newsboy
Tim Kazurinsky Reporter
Jonathan Larson Henchman
Norm Tobin Layout Man
Dave Adams Alderman

Technical Credits
Michael Apted Director
William Badalato Production Designer
John Bailey Cinematographer
Zelda Barron Associate Producer
Michael Benson Camera Operator
Bernie Brillstein Executive Producer
Michael Chinich Casting
Peter Jamison Production Designer
Bill Kaplan Sound/Sound Designer
Lawrence Kasdan Producer,Screenwriter
Kim Kurumada Asst. Director
Bob Larson Producer
Moss Mabry Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Rosenthal Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Carole Bayer Sager Songwriter
Michael Small Score Composer
Linda Spheeris Set Decoration/Design
Steven Spielberg Executive Producer
Dennis Virkler Editor

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Souchak's Big Story (Main Titles) [6:54]
2. The Warning [1:31]
3. A Safer Story [2:56]
4. The Rockies [8:18]
5. Nell Porter [7:54]
6. Nell's Work [6:28]
7. The Eagles' Protector [2:33]
8. A Change of Heart [3:50]
9. Nell's Secret [3:46]
10. Max Bernbaum [5:23]
11. Nature's Way [6:54]
12. Souchak's Accident [6:36]
13. The Mountain Lion [4:26]
14. A Different Souchak [6:05]
15. Souchak's Back [4:17]
16. Completely Over You [6:52]
17. Two Separate Lives [3:56]
18. The Long Goodbye [6:41]
19. One Terrific Marriage [4:04]
20. End Titles [3:07]

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Continental Divide 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Continental Divide is John Belushi¿s last film and the only romantic comedy in which he starred. If you enjoy subtle humor, Belushi style, and romance, then this is a must- see DVD. Since its release in 1981, I feel inclined to laugh whenever I hear, ¿How was your day?¿