Avalanche Express (1979)

PG  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  19 October 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 880 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 10 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.


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


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


The Fast Track For All-Star Adventure.


Action | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avalancha Express  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


During the avalanche scene, the train driver is seen attempting to accelerate the train out danger. However the speedometer is reading zero. See more »


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

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User Reviews

A Big Disapointment
7 February 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am a big Robert Shaw fan. I was very sad when I heard that he died at a very young age of 52. So when I learned that he made two films before he died, I looked foward to seeing them, so I could spend some more time with that great acting talent. The first "Force 10 From Navarone" was a fun adventure film with Shaw still at the top of his game the second was "Avalanche Express"

It came out some 14 months after he died, and I went quickley to my local movie theater to see it. Imagine my disapointment when I first heard him speak and realised that majestic voice was dubbed. It hurt alot that I would not hear that wonderful voice for the next 88 minutes. The voice didn't sound anything remotely like him.

As for the film itself, what can I say about a film where Joe Namath givves the best acting performance. As the other review says, if you love watching bad movies this is the film for you. The biggest laugh is at the end where the Robert Shaw character is singing a sad Russian song (Another sadness as I wouldn't hear Shaw's own wondeful singing voice_ and then the film cuts to an exterior shot of the airplane and while the "Shaw" voice is still sing he is joined by the croaking silver tomes of Lee Marvin. Who could ever forget his rendition of "Wandering Star"in "Paint Your Wagon". What was to be a pogniant moment was turned in to a laughfest instead. I left the theater wishing I followed the ushers advice as saw Meteor instead.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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