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Avalanche Express (1979)

PG  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  19 October 1979 (USA)
4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 831 users  
Reviews: 14 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.

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

With a reported budget of $12 million it was the most expensive film project shooting in Europe. 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

 
Stop the train, I want to get off.
14 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Awful attempt at blending a political thriller with disaster movie shenanigans, Avalanche Express is also a sad end to the careers of Robert Shaw (Jaws/The Sting) and Mark Robson (The Seventh Victim/Bedlam). Both of whom died during the production.

Plot essentially sees Shaw's Soviet official, Marenkov, defecting to the west whilst aiming to kill off his homeland's biological weapons programme in the process. Basically putting himself up as bait to flesh out the baddies, Marenkov is being protected by Lee Marvin's CIA agent Harry Wargrave and his pals. Cue a train snaking through the snowy mountains as they all try to evade an avalanche and some shifty types attempting to spoil the mission.

There's a whole bunch of talking and a whole bunch of actors drifting in and out of the film without making a mark. The action, what little there is, is slip-shod and the dubbing of Shaw only brings more sadness to what is quite simply a sad movie! Jack Cardiff's photography is crisp and deserves a better film, and even though the model work on show is a bit hit and miss, it does have a quaintness that steers you away from the turgid screenplay. But all told it's a boring mess of a movie and really only one for Marvin and Shaw fans to tick off of their lists. 3.5/10


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