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Avalanche Express (1979)

4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 816 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 9 critic

Soviet KGB General Marenkov defects to the Americans and together with his CIA handler Harry Wargrave they plan an operation meant to reveal the KGB agents in Europe.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Col. Harry Wargrave
...
Gen. Marenkov
...
Elsa Lang
...
Col. Nikolai Bunin
Joe Namath ...
Leroy
...
Julian Scholten (as Horst Bucholz)
...
Haller
Claudio Cassinelli ...
Col. Molinari
Kristina Nel ...
Helga Mann
...
Geiger
Günter Meisner ...
Rudi Muehler (as Günter Meissner)
Sylva Langova ...
Olga (as Sylvia Langova)
Cyril Shaps ...
Sedov
Vladek Sheybal ...
Zannbin (as Vladets Shebal)
Arthur Brauss ...
Neckerman
Edit

Storyline

When a senior Russian official, Gen. Marenkov, decides to defect to the west, CIA agent Harry Wargrave is sent to lead the team to get him out. Malenkov reveals that the Russians are trying to develop biological weapons. Wargrave decides that Malenkov should travel across Europe by train, on the "Atlantic Express", in an attempt to try and lure the Russians into attacking the train so that they can discover who the Russian secret agents in Europe are. During the journey they must survive terrorist attack and an avalanche, all planned by Russian spy-catcher Nikolai Bunin. Written by Matt <matt@measham.force9.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Fast Track For All-Star Adventure.

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avalancha Express  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The route of the train journey was from Milan, Italy to Rotterdam, Holland. See more »

Goofs

When the avalanche smothers the railway just as the train enters a tunnel, the overhead wiring would be brought down and the power supply cut. Since the train is hauled by an electric locomotive, it would be brought to a halt. However, it just keeps going. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not A Great Film To Go Out On
8 April 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

During the making of Avalanche Express, Robert Shaw died and I'm sure the producers must have been in a quandary. They decided to salvage as much footage as they could with longshots and rears. Shaw's voice was weak so whole scenes were dubbed.

The result was an 85 minute action adventure story with a lot of holes in the story about a Russian general, Shaw, defecting to the west. Lee Marvin, Linda Evans, Michael Connors and would you believe Joe Namath are the CIA agents bringing him out and for some reason decide train travel is best. This is an obvious homage to Alfred Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes, but I'm sure Hitchcock would not have been flattered with the comparison had the master of suspense saw this film before he died.

The rest of the players try their best and Maximilian Schell as the KGB guy assigned to kill Shaw before he makes it out of Europe is quite good. As an actor however Joe Namath is a great quarterback, in his few scenes he's painful to watch dealing with the dialog, limited though it was in his case.

I do feel sorry for Robert Shaw because of the many fine performances he did give us on the big and small screen. My first memory of him was in a short lived British syndicated television series The Buccaneers and that had far more going for it than Avalanche Express.

Had Shaw lived and the movie going public got to see what would have been the story they wanted to bring us, would we have liked it? Hard to speculate, but I'd stay clear of this unless you want to see a nice big avalanche nearly engulf a train with nearly all the cast on it.


8 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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