Across the Great Divide [1976]

Zachariah Coop is a cheating card player who has been chased out of town. Holly Smith and her brother, Jason, are orphans on their way to Oregon to claim 400 acres of land. Their paths cross, and Zachariah promptly steals one of their horses. But these are resourceful and strong children--they chase him and take back their horse. Then they discover that each has something the other can use. Zachariah has knowledge of the land, and the Smith children's horse provides Zachariah a means of escape. A shaky alliance is formed, and they decide to go over the Rocky Mountains to Oregon. It is a perilous journey that brings them face to face with cougars, bears, a snowstorm, unfriendly Native Americans, and more. But all these travails end up making them dependent on each other. In the end, the experience bonds them into a family. This outdoor adventure saga takes place in the year 1876. The setting is the beautiful western plains and the Rocky Mountains. Despite some gunplay, this is a pleasant movie that children and adults can enjoy together. (Ages 4 and older) --Peggy Maltby-Etra

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