6.2/10
4,118
27 user 18 critic

Continental Divide (1981)

A hard-nosed Chicago journalist has an unlikely love affair with an eagle researcher.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writer:

Lawrence Kasdan

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Stars: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Belushi ... Ernie Souchak
Blair Brown ... Nell Porter
Allen Garfield ... Howard McDermott (as Allen Goorwitz)
Carlin Glynn ... Sylvia
Tony Ganios ... Max Bernbaum
Val Avery ... Yablonowitz
Liam Russell Liam Russell ... Deke Lewis
Everett Smith Everett Smith ... Fiddle
Bill Henderson ... Train Conductor
Bruce Jarchow ... Hellinger
Eddie Schwartz Eddie Schwartz ... Jimmy
Harold Holmes Harold Holmes ... Mr. Feeney
Elizabeth Young Elizabeth Young ... Mrs. Feeney
Ron Dean ... Plesko
Frankie Hill Frankie Hill ... Agatha
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Storyline

Ernie Souchak (John Belushi), a tough Chicago reporter, gets a little too close to the Mob, and is assaulted by two crooked police officers sent by a crooked councilman, and ends up in the hospital. To take the heat off of him, his editor sends him to Colorado to investigate an eagle researcher ('Blair Brown'). Sparring partners at first, the pair eventually fall in love, but Souchak must return to Chicago when one of his sources is mysteriously killed. Written by Ray Hamel <hamel@primate.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When they met they heard bells. And that was just round one.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Americka romansa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,218,347, 20 September 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$15,578,237
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An early example of filmmakers putting "1138" in their films as an in-joke with George Lucas, referring to his first film THX-1138. The number can be seen on a taxi (with the camera lingering on the car a bit longer than necessary) as John Belushi leaves the train station in Chicago. See more »

Goofs

When Souchak rides the Empire Builder back to Wyoming with Nell, the train takes a route the Empire Builder never takes. In the movie, the train goes through Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and then on to Victor, Wyoming, where they get off. The real Empire Builder goes north from Chicago to Milwaukee and then Minneapolis before heading northwest and crossing North Dakota, Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border. It goes nowhere near Iowa or Wyoming. See more »

Quotes

Ernie Souchak: The air was thin. She was average cute. She was the only girl up there. The air was thin!
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, after some mountain shots, there's a sequence of a selection of some of the black-and-white photos of Ernie and/or Nell that Souchak had on his desk. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Indiana Jones: Making the Trilogy (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Theme from Continental Divide (Never Say Goodbye)
Music by Michael Small
Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager
Performed by Helen Reddy
Available on MCA Records
Record Produced by Joel Diamond
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User Reviews

 
Criminally under-rated Belushi gem.
10 December 2005 | by Poison-RiverSee all my reviews

John Belushi's screen persona is fixed in most peoples minds thanks to his performances in the raucous, knock-about comedies 'The Blues Brothers' and 'Animal House'. But here he gets the rare chance to put in a performance of exceptional depth and nuance. Belushi plays hard-boiled investigative journalist Ernie Souchak who finds himself a little too close to some major City Hall corruption, and so, on the advice of his editor and friend, he heads to the mountains of Colorado, to chill and to write a piece on a reclusive conservationist, played to exquisite perfection by Blair Brown.

The film begins as a serious piece on political corruption but soon turns into a charming, bittersweet 'fish-out-of-water' romance. The scenes set amongst the Colorado mountains feature some of the most breathtaking cinematography I've ever seen. The movie belongs to John Belushi though. He puts in a splendid mature performance, dominating the action like a major presence. It is through this movie, rather than his more famous works, that I feel we now sense the feeling of loss that his tragic early death gave the world of cinema. He carries all the weight and clout of a genuinely gifted actor, and his comic timing, even in the smallest scenes, is a joy to behold. Blair Brown, too, is another enigma. Why is she not much more famous than she is? Her performance is both tough and sexy, and she and Belushi make a great screen partnership. Throw into the mix one of the rare screen appearances from the great Tony Ganios, and this really is a movie worthy of rediscovery.

Watch for it.


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