- Continental Divide (film)
Continental Divide Directed by Michael Apted Produced by Robert E. Larson
Steven Spielberg (executive)
Bernie Brillstein (executive)
Written by Lawrence Kasdan Starring John Belushi
Music by Michael Small Cinematography John Bailey Editing by Dennis Virkler Studio Amblin Entertainment Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date(s) September 18, 1981 (United States) 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; the latter 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 is also the first film from Spielberg's production company Amblin Entertainment.
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.
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.
Singer Helen Reddy performed the ending theme, "Never Say Goodbye".
The Ernie Souchak character was loosely based on longtime Chicago newspaper columnist Mike Royko.
Many of the scenes were filmed around Chicago:
- Belushi's character works for the Chicago Sun-Times with many scenes filmed in and around the now demolished Chicago Sun-Times Building on the Chicago River (now the site of the Trump International Hotel and Tower).
- Belushi and Brown's character meet in Chicago while she is giving a lecture at the Field Museum of Natural History next to Lake Michigan.
Many of the mountain scenes were filmed in Colorado:
- Custer County, Colorado
- Crystal Mt, Washington
Other scenes were filmed at:
- The train depot where Belushi's character says goodbye to Blair's character, but later gets back on the train is the Michigan Central Railroad Niles Depot in Niles, Michigan about 90 miles east of Chicago. It's a large sandstone building built in 1892. The depot appeared in Midnight Run with Robert De Niro and Only the Lonely with Maureen O'Hara and John Candy.
- Glacier National Park, Montana.
- Crystal Mountain, Washington which is 40 miles south of the city of Enumclaw.
- Although often portrayed as having been "filmed in the Rockies", all of the tent scenes were filmed in the Cascades at Crystal Mt. with the magnificent Mt. Rainier standing 14,410' in the background. As rustic as it looks, the reality is that ten feet behind the cameras, the crew were sitting inside the Summit House restaurant drinking hot cocoa. It was still 6872' elev., and the snow was real. It was a cold shoot with lots of time spent warming up people and equipment. Many local kids participated in the making of the film and mourned Belushi's passing too soon thereafter.
- The final scenes of the movie were filmed in an old train station in Cedar Falls, Washington with an added Amtrak station sign (a movie prop) that read "Victor, WY".
Michael Apted 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sThe Power of the Game (2010) • The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (2010) Television"The Dustbinmen" (1968) • "ITV Playhouse" (1968 – 1971) • "Big Breadwinner Hog" (1969) • Up series † (1970 – ) • "The Lovers" (1970) • "ITV Saturday Night Theatre" (1971 – 1972) • "Follyfoot" (1971 – 1972) • "Play for Today" (1972 – 1977) • Joy (1972) • "Thirty-Minute Theatre" (1972) • Buggins' Ermine (1972) • "Black and Blue" (1973) • "Shades of Greene" (1975) • "Laurence Olivier Presents" (1976) • "The Paradise Run" (1976) • P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang (1982) • Haunted: Poor Girl (1986) • The Long Way Home (1989) • Always Outnumbered (1998) • Nathan Dixon (1999) • "Married in America" (2002 – 2006) • "Blind Justice" (2005) • "Rome" (2005) • "What About Brian" (2006)†indicates documentary Steven Spielberg filmography 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010sThe Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011) · War Horse (2011) · Lincoln (2012) Production
creditsI Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) · Used Cars (1980) · Continental Divide (1981) · Poltergeist (1982) · E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) · Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) · Gremlins (1984) · Back to the Future (1985) · The Goonies (1985) · Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) · The Color Purple (1985) · An American Tail (1986) · The Money Pit (1986) · *batteries not included (1987) · Harry and the Hendersons (1987; uncredited) · Innerspace (1987) · Empire of the Sun (1987) · Three O'Clock High (1987; uncredited) · The Land Before Time (1988) · Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) · Back to the Future Part II (1989) · Always (1989) · Dad (1989) · Arachnophobia (1990) · Back to the Future Part III (1990) · Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) · Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) · An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991) · Cape Fear (1991) · We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993) · Schindler's List (1993) · The Flintstones (1994) · The Little Rascals (1994; uncredited) · Casper (1995) · Balto (1995) · Twister (1996) · Men in Black (1997) · Amistad (1997) · Deep Impact (1998) · The Mask of Zorro (1998) · Saving Private Ryan (1998) · The Last Days (1998) · The Prince of Egypt (1998; uncredited) · The Haunting (1999; uncredited) · Wakko's Wish (1999) · The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) · Evolution (2001; uncredited) · A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) · Jurassic Park III (2001) · Men in Black II (2002) · Catch Me If You Can (2002) · The Terminal (2004) · The Legend of Zorro (2005) · Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) · Munich (2005) · Monster House (2006) · Flags of Our Fathers (2006) · Letters from Iwo Jima (2006) · Disturbia (2007; uncredited) · Transformers (2007) · Eagle Eye (2008) · Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) · The Lovely Bones (2009) · Hereafter (2010) · True Grit (2010) · Super 8 (2011) · Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) · Cowboys & Aliens (2011) · Real Steel (2011) · The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011) · War Horse (2011) · Men in Black III (2012) · Cloud Atlas (2012)
TelevisionNight Gallery (1970) · Columbo (1971) · Amazing Stories (1985–1987) · Tiny Toon Adventures (1990–1992) · A Wish for Wings That Work (1991; uncredited) · Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992) · Family Dog (1993) · seaQuest DSV (1993–1995) · Animaniacs (1993–1998) · ER (1994) · Pinky and the Brain / Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1995–1999) · Freakazoid! (1995–1997) · High Incident (1996–1997) · Toonsylvania (1998) · Invasion America (1998) · Band of Brothers (2001) · Taken (2002) · Into the West (2005) · On the Lot (2007) · United States of Tara (2009–2011) · The Pacific (2010) · Falling Skies (2011–present) · Terra Nova (2011–present) · The River (2012–present) · Smash (2012–present) Games Short filmsTummy Trouble (1989; played with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) · Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990; played with Dick Tracy) · Trail Mix-Up (1993; played with A Far Off Place) · I'm Mad (1994; played with Thumbelina) See also
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