80 user 39 critic

The Cassandra Crossing (1976)

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


George P. Cosmatos (as George Pan Cosmatos)


Robert Katz (story), George P. Cosmatos (story) (as George Pan Cosmatos) | 3 more credits »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sophia Loren ... Jennifer Rispoli Chamberlain
Richard Harris ... Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain
Martin Sheen ... Robby Navarro
O.J. Simpson ... Haley
Lionel Stander ... Max, the Train Conductor
Ann Turkel ... Susan
Ingrid Thulin ... Dr. Elena Stradner
Lee Strasberg ... Herman Kaplan
Ava Gardner ... Nicole / Nicole Dressler
Burt Lancaster ... Mackenzie / Colonel Stephen Mackenzie
Lou Castel ... Swedish Terrorist
John Phillip Law ... Major Stack
Ray Lovelock ... Tom
Alida Valli ... Nanny
Stefano Patrizi ... Terrorist


"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 | Plot Synopsis


The Fear Is Spreading See more »


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The cast and crew featured at least two sets of married couples. Producer Carlo Ponti saw the movie as a showcase for his wife Sophia Loren. The movie also co-starred then husband and wife, Richard Harris and Ann Turkel, with Turkel being pregnant during principal photography. See more »


The train is meant to be leaving from Geneva, but all the departure scenes are at Basel SBB station, the main Swiss station in Basel. Green liveried (still to be seen in 2012) Basel trams can be seen more than once. No on-the-ground railway filming took place in Geneva. This is made even more amusing by the announcements in the background mentioning the next stop as Basel several times. See more »


Col. Stephen Mackenzie: Good God woman! Do you think I would personally send a thousand people to their deaths?
Dr. Elena Stradner: No. But I think you'd simply let them be killed. And that's almost worse.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION Geneva See more »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The 1980s American video version deletes all the carnage during the final sequence, when half of the train goes onto the bridge, which collapses under it. This version shows the train itself, crashing to the ground, but removes the interior shots of passengers being killed, as well as shots of bodies floating in the river in the aftermath, giving the impression that the front half of the train was empty when it fell. This version also deletes the scene with the song "I'm Still On My Way", sung by the hippies, various instances of cursing and other assorted shots which got the film its R rating in 1976. See more »


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

User Reviews

Thrilling disaster movie with spectacular scenes , nail-biting action and big name cast
24 October 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Suspenseful and intriguing disaster movie with all-star-cast and well-directed . Exciting and interesting catastrophe movie with some clichés and stereotypes , containing enjoyable performances from Burt Lancaster , Richard Harris and Sofia Loren . This disaster movie blends action , intrigue , breathtaking spectacle , suspense and emotional byplay . ¨Cassandra crossing¨ was a successful film that grossed at box office . The film's storyline features the potential outbreak of a deadly pneumonic plague virus on a train from an germ infected passenger and the legend of the Cassandra Crossing add to the suspense . As passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease . 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 . One of them is Doctor Chamberlain (Richard Harris , though Peter O'Toole turned down the role) along with his ex-wife (Sofia Loren) . Furthermore , a suspicious priest called Haley (James Coburn turned down the role of Haley which was in the end played by 'O J Simpson') , a millionaire spouse (Ava Gardner) , her lover (Martin Sheen) , among others . The Fear Is Spreading but nobody will let them off the train . As when the train carrying plague approaches a weakened bridge the events go wrong .

This is and amusing and entertaining disaster movie though has some sloppy executions . This formula intrigue movie belongs to catastrophe genre of the 70s , being the undisputed king , ¨The towering inferno¨ along with ¨Earthquake¨ , ¨Two minutes warning¨ , ¨Rollercoaster¨ , among others . Filmed at the height of the disaster genre from the 7os , this entry in the spectacular series profits of a decent acting by protagonists and overwhelming action scenes . It blends thrills , chills , shootouts , noisy action-packed , government intrigue, international smuggling , and many other things . It is a crossover in which "Outbreak" meets ¨Under siege 2¨ , "The Runaway Train" and ¨Death Train¨ , taking parts here and there . The "Cassandra Crossing" of the film's title refers to a bridge in the movie called the Kaslindrliv Bridge, being shot in France and Italy . The architectural structure used to play this was the Viaduct of Garabit which is located in the South of France , it was built between 1881 & 1884, and was manufactured by Gustave Alexandre Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame . This moving picture which is short in realism instead we have far-fetched but moving blow up , crossfire , fighting , it should please most adventure-action buffs . The main and support cast is frankly good , it is plenty with known faces such as Ingrid Thulin , Ava Gardner , Lee Strasberg , Lionel Stander , Lou Castel , Ann Turkel, John Phillip Law , Ray Lovelock , Alida Valli and several others . Producer Carlo Ponti saw the movie as a showcase for his wife Sophia Loren . The movie also co-starred the then husband and wife actors Richard Harris and Ann Turkel, with Turkel being pregnant during principal photography .

Luminous and shimmer cinematography by Ennio Guarneri . Fitted to action and stirring misical score by the great Jerry Goldsmith . This improbable motion picture was professionally directed by George Pan Cosmatos . He's a good director who got a great success with ¨Tombstone¨ and flops as ¨Shadow conspiracy¨, ¨Leviathan¨, ¨Escape to Athena¨ , ¨Massacre in Rome¨ and this ¨Cassandra crossing¨ was a hit at European box office . This typical epic disaster grade story will appeal to Lancaster/Harris/Loren fans . Although the movie has some aspects a little tough to take , this catastrophe film still has its moments .This large-scale and lavishly produced pic attempts a spectacular atmosphere with acceptable results.

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UK | Italy | West Germany


English | French | Swedish | German

Release Date:

9 February 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cassandra Crossing See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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