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Continental Divide
Directed by Michael Apted
Produced by Robert E. Larson
Steven Spielberg (executive)
Bernie Brillstein (executive)
Written by Lawrence Kasdan
Starring John Belushi
Blair Brown
Allen Goorwitz
Carlin Glynn
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography John Bailey
Editing by Dennis Virkler
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) September 18, 1981 (US)
Running time 103 minutes
Language English

Continental Divide is a 1981 American romantic comedy. It was directed by Michael Apted from an original screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and produced by Steven Spielberg and stars John Belushi and Blair Brown. 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. Though this impression was not successfully carried off, Belushi's death less than six months after the film's release meant that the potential of he and Brown as a movie twosome was never explored.

Plot

A Chicago 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. His editor decides to send him out of town for his own safety. Souchak reluctantly travels to the Rockies to interview 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 like her for her strong character and dedication. She, in turn, grows to like him. Eventually, they fall in love. Souchak later returns to Chicago with her still very much on his mind. Souchak's mind continues to drift back to his time in the Rockies. However, when he finds out that one of his sources has been "accidentally" killed, he once again pursues the councilman until the day the councilman flees the country. The same day the councilman flees, 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. Meeting after she gives her 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. 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

Many of the scenes were filmed around Chicago:

Many of the mountain scenes were filmed in Colorado:

Other scenes were filmed at:

External links

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