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The Cassandra Crossing (1976)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  9 February 1977 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,823 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 25 critic

Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train so what happens next?

Director:

(as George Pan Cosmatos)

Writers:

(story), (story), 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Haley (as O. J. Simpson)
...
Max, the Train Conductor
...
Susan
...
Dr. Elena Stradner
...
Herman Kaplan
...
Nicole Dressler
...
Colonel Stephen Mackenzie
...
Swedish Terrorist
...
Major Stark
Ray Lovelock ...
Tom
...
Nanny
Stefano Patrizi ...
Terrorist
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Storyline

"Outbreak" meets "The Runaway Train" as a motley group of passengers are quarantined on a train destined to prevent the spread of the disease at the cost of their lives. Government intrigue, international smuggling, and the legend of the Cassandra Crossing add to the suspense. Written by <hgwells@magicnet.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At noon on October 25th, the Transcontinental Express left Geneva Station with almost one thousand people aboard. Their destination: Basel, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. No one arrived. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

9 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cassandra Crossing  »

Box Office

Gross:

SEK 152,111 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Reportedly, the concept for this picture came to director George P. Cosmatos at 5 am in the morning about two-and-a-half years before this film was released. Cosmatos once said: "I immediately rang Robert Katz, an historian and screenwriter with whom I had collaborated on "Massacre in Rome" [Massacre in Rome (1973)] and we began work on the story the following day". See more »

Goofs

Several characters say that people used to live under the Cassandra Crossing, but then moved away. The only thing under the crossing is a river. See more »

Quotes

Col. Stephen Mackenzie: [On speaker phone] I don't have to tell you what we're up against!
Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain: What you're up against? I may be the only doctor for a thousand potential plague victims if I haven't caught it myself.
Col. Stephen Mackenzie: That's exactly why it's important to contain the disease now and why you'll all be heading for an isolation facility in Poland, where you'll get the very best...
Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain: In the meantime, what do you intend I fight it with? Aspirin?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Rebel Set (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Still On My Way
Composed and written by Dave Jordan
Published by ATV Music Ltd - London
See more »

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User Reviews

Under-rated disaster entry, well worth catching.
8 September 2004 | by (Todmorden, England) – See all my reviews

The '70s cycle of disaster films provided widely acclaimed titles such as The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, and universally panned titles like When Time Ran Out and Hurricane. It's tricky to decide which side to place The Cassandra Crossing. This 1976 entry in the genre divides critics and the public like no other disaster movie - on the one hand you have Maltin giving it his nod of approval, while on the other you have Halliwell dismissing it as a totally undistinguished potboiler. Personally, I feel The Cassandra Crossing has been rather hard done by. It's a good, well-made, sporadically exciting film with a first-rate cast.

A terrorist on the run boards a continental train, unaware that when he recently infiltrated a top secret laboratory he was infected with a highly contagious killer plague. Pretty soon, people aboard the train are coming down with the horrendous virus. In the corridors of power, Colonel Stephen Mackenzie (Burt Lancaster) plots to divert the train to an abandoned concentration camp where the passengers can be quarantined, ignoring the fact that the train will have to traverse the famously fragile Cassandra Crossing (a dangerously rickety, long unused bridge) to get there. Meanwhile, the passengers - including Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain (Richard Harris) - realize that they're not as safe as the authorities would have them believe, and they try to regain control of the express.

Admittedly, The Cassandra Crossing is derivative and clichéd - as, indeed, so many disaster films are. But it doesn't waste its marvelous all-star cast. Each character is well-written and well-performed by a stellar cast. George Pan Cosmatos (later to helm Cobra and Rambo: First Blood, Part II) directs with an assured touch and generates some very effective tension, particularly in the film's memorable climax. At 123 minutes, the film is just long enough - there's time to get involved in the story and the characters, but not quite enough time to get bored. The Cassandra Crossing is an above-par disaster flick, which has been unfairly under-rated for far too long.


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