Blu-ray Review – Continental Divide (1981)

Continental Divide, 1981.

Directed by Michael Apted.
Starring John Belushi, Blair Brown, Allen Goorwitz, Carlin Glynn, Tony Ganios, and Bruce Jarchow.



Continental Divide was a field workplace failure, but it surely has discovered a small viewers over time amongst followers of John Belushi, in addition to those that admire author/director Lawrence Kasdan, who penned the script. You’ll be able to rely me in each camps, so I appreciated the prospect to take a look at this new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.


Continental Divide flopped on the field workplace in 1981, but it surely’s price wanting again on right now for a number of causes. It confirmed that John Belushi might tackle extra severe roles, one thing I believe he would have continued to strive had he not died the next yr. As well as, its script by Lawrence Kasdan catapulted the author into the Hollywood ranks and led to him engaged on the screenplays for Raiders of the Misplaced Ark and The Empire Strikes Again earlier than embarking on a profession as a author/director.

As well as, it’s really a extremely good movie. Maybe it carried out poorly on the field workplace as a result of audiences had been anticipating screwball John Belushi, fairly than a severe John Belushi with some comedic moments. Or perhaps it failed for numerous different causes – movie historical past is stuffed with movies that turned fan favorites on residence video after underwhelming ticket gross sales.

Belushi performs Ernie Souchak, a hardscrabble Chicago Solar-Instances columnist who’s investigating a corrupt metropolis alderman. When his digging will get him too near the reality and a pair law enforcement officials tough him up, his editor decides to ship him on a brand new project to the Rocky Mountains, the place he’ll write a profile of the reclusive Dr. Nell Porter (Blair Brown), who’s engaged on vital bald eagle analysis.


The center of the movie is a traditional metropolis mouse/nation mouse story, as Ernie tries to stay with out metropolis comforts and Nell warily lets him observe her analysis. Ernie has two weeks together with her to get his story, however the two fall in love and he returns to Chicago a head-in-the-clouds romantic who’s not thinking about writing his hard-hitting columns. The dying of a key informant adjustments his thoughts, although, and when he learns that Nell is coming to town to present a lecture, he realizes that he has to decide about his future together with her.

My spouse and I revisited the movie on this new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber, because it’s a film she additionally remembers fondly. She identified one thing that struck me: Belushi was an extremely expressive actor, even when he was delivering extra severe strains. Extra importantly, he was nice at it when he merely needed to non-verbally decide, as he does a number of instances through the movie. All of us knew he was nice at broad comedy, but it surely was these refined moments that made him a superb actor who had an opportunity to grow to be nice, if he had gotten the chance.

Kino Lorber launched this movie with out a sign that it was restored, however the print obtainable right here is in fairly fine condition, with little in the best way of blemishes or different picture points. I’m certain it will look even higher if Kino had the price range for a restoration, however I doubt their gross sales projections supported that. That is additionally the film’s first time on Blu-ray, so there aren’t any earlier editions to match it to.


Continental Divide was beforehand launched on DVD, however I imagine that was a naked bones launch. This one options the trailer in addition to an audio commentary by movie historians Daniel Kremer and Nat Segaloff. I imagine the commentary is new. Kremer can also be a filmmaker and Segaloff, amongst different issues, additionally produced an episode of A&E’s Biography sequence about Belushi.

Kremer drives the dialogue, giving us the background particulars in regards to the movie and the onscreen and off-screen of us concerned in it whereas bringing in Segaloff so as to add extra commentary, notably about Belushi. Should you’re a sports activities individual, Kremer is just like the play-by-play man whereas Segaloff offers the colour commentary. It’s a worthwhile pay attention when you’re a fan of the movie and/or the parents concerned in it.

Trailers for different motion pictures that Kino Lorber is bringing to Blu-ray, together with D.C. Cab, Bustin’ Unfastened, and Gorky Park, spherical out the platter.

Flickering Myth Rating – Movie: ★★★★ / Film: ★★★

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