6.4/10
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71 user 33 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?

Director:

George P. Cosmatos (as George Pan Cosmatos)

Writers:

Robert Katz (story), George P. Cosmatos (story) (as George Pan Cosmatos) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

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
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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:

The Fear Is Spreading See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy | West Germany | USA

Language:

English | French | Swedish | German

Release Date:

9 February 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cassandra Crossing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

British producer and movie financier Sir Lew Grade financed about three million U.S. dollars towards the production costs. See more »

Goofs

A name station on a building where the train is passing in Poland is misspelled. It says KSZEMIENIEC where in fact it's Krzemieniec with 'r'. Also it's located in a different part of the country. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Circus of the Stars #2 (1977) 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 barnabyrudgeSee 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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