Review: ‘Continental Divide’

For a picture that you can't really believe for a second, Continental Divide still comes off as a reasonably engaging entertainment thanks to some lively performances and a liberal dose of laughs throughout the script.

For a picture that you can’t really believe for a second, Continental Divide still comes off as a reasonably engaging entertainment thanks to some lively performances and a liberal dose of laughs throughout the script.

John Belushi plays a star columnist for the Chicago Sun Times who loves dishing the dirt about the latest doings down at city hall. When his stories on a certain corrupt alderman get too hot, Belushi is sent to the Rocky Mountains to track down a crazy bird lady known for her reclusiveness and particular hatred of nosey reporters.

At first, beauteous Blair Brown orders the interloper from her mountaintop retreat but, as his guide won’t be back to fetch him for two weeks, they gradually learn to cope and, finally, love together.

The problem is that these two just don’t seem made for each other. When Tracy and Hepburn sparred for two hours in films like Adam’s Rib and Pat and Mike, airing every possible reason they shouldn’t get, or remain, together, the inevitability of their ultimate match-up was crystal clear.

Lawrence Kasdan displays a keen ability to write sparkling male-female repartee and also creates a believable context for Belushi’s beat on the Windy City streets. Michael Apted’s direction is solid.

Continental Divide

Production

Universal/Amblin. Director Michael Apted; Producer Bob Larson; Screenplay Lawrence Kasdan; Camera John Bailey; Editor Dennis Virkler; Music Michael Small;; Art Director Peter Jamison

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

John Belushi Blair Brown Allen Garfield Carlin Glynn Tony Ganios Val Avery
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