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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:

(as George Pan Cosmatos)

Writers:

(story), (story) (as George Pan Cosmatos) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jennifer Rispoli Chamberlain
... Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain
... Robby Navarro
... Haley (as O. J. Simpson)
... Max, the Train Conductor
... Susan
... Dr. Elena Stradner
... Herman Kaplan
... Nicole / Nicole Dressler
... Mackenzie / Colonel Stephen Mackenzie
... Swedish Terrorist
... Major Stack
... Tom
... Nanny
... 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:

At noon on October 25th, the Transcontinental Express left Geneva Station with almost one thousand people aboard. Their destination: Basel, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. No one arrived. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

| | |

Release Date:

9 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cassandra Crossing  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor) (as Technicolor®)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many movie posters for the picture featured a long blurb that read: "At noon on October 25th, the Transcontinental Express left Geneva Station with almost one thousand people on board. Their destination: Basel, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm. No one arrived." See more »

Goofs

If the bridge hadn't been used for such a long time, the tracks would have been rusty. However, in at least one shot we see that their upper surfaces are shiny, indicating that trains quite often run on them. See more »

Quotes

Col. Stephen Mackenzie: [On speaker phone] I don't have to tell you what we're up against!
Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain: What you're up against? I may be the only doctor for a thousand potential plague victims if I haven't caught it myself.
Col. Stephen Mackenzie: That's exactly why it's important to contain the disease now and why you'll all be heading for an isolation facility in Poland, where you'll get the very best...
Dr. Jonathan Chamberlain: In the meantime, what do you intend I fight it with? Aspirin?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION Geneva See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Balandra Crossing (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Still On My Way
Composed and Written by Dave Jordan
Published by ATV Music Ltd - London
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User Reviews

Under-rated disaster entry, well worth catching.
8 September 2004 | by See 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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