Across the Great Divide (1976) Poster

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Good family film
gee-1512 September 2001
Plot: A professional gambler on the run stumbles across and eventually joins up with two orphaned children on their way to Oregon.

Good stuff: The film has some amazing scenery and even more amazing scenes with animals. The performance by the actress playing the older sister is pretty good and there is some nice dramatic tension between her and Robert Logan's character. The card game between Logan and the horse traders was pretty amusing.

Bad stuff: I thought the film ended rather abruptly. While there is a resolution of sorts, it would have been interesting if the film could have gone on for maybe another 15 minutes. In addition, Robert Logan seems far too pleasant to play the self-centered gambler character.

Overall, not a great film, but one good enough to keep your attention and the attention of the kids.
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Stunning scenery, fun family flick.
flikflak8 February 2002
In 1976, at the height of the John Denver phenomenon, all us college kids flocked to the theatres to see the awesome Rocky Mountain scenery. The story did not appeal nearly as much then, as it does now, watching my kids watch it. In midlife I have come to enjoy it in totality. The scenes (Utah and British Columbia) are breathtaking. The child actors are spunky and yet charming. Logan is inimitable in his mannerisms. After a while you are drawn into the situation as though you are part of it. Sit down with the kids or grandkids and enjoy it over and over.
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Excellent movie - one that stands the test of time!
lana29 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I love this movie! Great shots of our Canadian mountain ranges, and an excellent family movie! It's true you either like this movie or hate it, but it's full of great lines from all three major characters. Storyline: (promise no spoilers :-) Zachariah Coop is a gambler on the run when he comes across two stranded kids. Holly and Jason Smith have been abandoned on the trail by a lowdown guide while on their way to inherit a farm and save it from the clenches of their mean old stingy Uncle. After unsuccessfully stealing (really, he was just borrowing :-) their horse, Mr. Coop tries to make peace with the kids. After saving Jason from a watery death the three began their journey together through the pass. Facing bears, wolves, friendly Indians, scoundrels and not just one, but two cougars a long lasting and sure to be interesting friendship is forged! Filled with a memorable soundtrack (the title track will stick with you, believe me) this movie represents some of the better non-Disney flicks around. Plus, Robert Logan at his best - so things happen in three's to him...(for those who don't know, Logan's characters never get into just one mess, but three or four at one time!) The chemistry between Rattray and Logan is very well played out. This would have been a great TV series...
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Beautiful scenery and animals
swampmutt16 March 2006
This is a good film for family or an easy watch. The plot is not very compelling and the acting is remote. However, this was filmed in Utah and Canada, and the critters are very present, often at odds to the desires of the main party. The wolf scene is quite dramatic. Obviously the film makers were equipped to shoot outdoors as the colors and details are quite good for the time period. About 3/4 of the way through the movie, the party passes a lake. I am guessing it is the famous Peyto Lake in Canada's Banff NP, a truly spectacular place. If you like a wholesome movie, with lots of critters and big wild lands this movie is worth a view. Nice dog, too!
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The way good family films used to be made
christophaskell20 September 2003
Holly and Jason Smith (Heather Rattray and Mark Edward Hall, respectively) are a brother/sister combo out on the open trail. Trying to get to Oregon before their miserly uncle claims some land that is rightfully theirs, the kids run across a kind-hearted gambler, Zachariah Coop (Robert Logan). Although they get off to a rocky start, their relationship together grows out of necessity of their dependence on each other. They slowly learn to trust one another, and as a team make steady progress to Oregon. Director Raffill has directed quite a few of the outdoor, family adventure films as of late, and his love for nature shines through his lens. `Across the Great Divide' had a few gratuitous `fear for your life' moments, but definitely holds its own against other outdoor adventure films made in the 1970's. For viewers looking for films with good morals, this also has lessons learned out the wazoo. Rating: 25/40
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A little fun for everyone
zoodlepepsee5 July 2013
An acceptable story line about two orphaned kids who reluctantly accept the assistance of a nice guy gambler on the run from past misfortune. Through trials and dangers a bond is formed between these likable characters. I rate this movie high simply for the good feeling you get watching it. Some of the animal scenes are completely unrealistic (a grizzly outdone by everyone including a few kids) but this seems to be the norm with these types of movies. It's also my peeve in the Genre but one must be capable of a more emotional response to fully appreciate what is being said in a film like this. Cue the imagination. What the movie gives up in "believability", regarding the animal scenes, it more than makes up for in filming locations. I was surprised to see the Peyto lake scenes as this is a very rugged and remote area of Alberta to shoot. Some real hiking may have been necessary for these shots but they are spectacular. A few good stunts; like a man and cougar fall from a cliff, add to the appeal. Overall, this is "feel good" 70's movie material.
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It's like Oregon Trail the movie.
blackismylove15 August 2009
And I LOVED that game growing up. I just watched this movie for the first time since the early 90's. Across the great Divide is proof that you don't need huge budgets or big stars in order for a movie to be good. The movie starts off with 2 children who need to cross the wilderness to claim their land inheritance meet a gambler on the run. Together they face natures obstacles in order to reach their destination. Granted, there were a few parts that were pretty predictable as to what was going to happen next. But all in all, it was a great little film to watch whether its in a family setting, or just by yourself.
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Trust out of necessity
scottshirey-877-56786622 December 2013
My mother took me to see this movie at the theater when I was 10 years old, and it is one of my all-time favorites. It has all the elements that make movies great: soothing music, breath-taking scenery, suspense, humor, and adventure. Right from the start you are drawn into the movie by the charm of Zachariah Coop, a trickster by trade. While running from the mischief he stirred up at his last gig, meets up with two kids who are in need of some adult help and protection to see them safely over the mountains. After the unfortunate timing of their meeting, they struggle to regain each other's trust, which they know is the only way they will be able make it. The wolf scene was incredible. The director should have won awards for that.
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A Great Family Movie
garyldibert13 February 2007
Starring: Across the Great Divide is a 1976 film that stars Robert Logan, Heather Rattray, and George Buck Flower. The film was shot on location in Utah and Canada. The movie is rated G in the

Summary: From the producer of the Wilderness Family series comes a film about two orphaned youngsters set out to claim their rightful inheritance-a 400-acre plot of land in Salem Oregon. To do so necessitates their crossing the rugged snow covered Colorado Rocky Mountains in the 1876. On their Journey, these pioneer children cross paths with Zachariah Coop, an irresistible film-flam man. They were friends of fate…an unlikely combination of frontier trickery and pioneer innocence. The children did not always approve of Zach's way, but he was their only hope. Together this unlikely threesome, through companionship and love, struggle to survive an incredible journey. They face perilous dangers and challenges of the wilderness and gain the mutual respect of the Blackfoot Indians. It is much more than a dynamic outdoor adventure story about man against nature for it is human nature-of relationships and their tenacious hold on to their dream.

Questions: Why did the kids join MR Coop? What kind of hazards did the kids have to deal with? Do the kids make it where there trying to?

My Thoughts: This was the first of three films that Heather Rattray did with Robert Logan and Rattray when on years later to play Victoria Newman on the Young and The Restless Soap Opera. The movie it's self I would give a six however, when you add in the country and its beauty through out the movie then this movie jumps to a 9.
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Maybe, but I don't think so!!!
neobowler2 November 2002
I guess you could watch this with your family, but it won't be enjoyed too much. The movie is slow and boring. Whenever it has something with the potential to be interesting, it ruins it somehow. The movie wasn't well acted, but you couldn't expect much I guess! 2 out of 5
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