4.9/10
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Avalanche Express (1979)

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:

Mark Robson, Monte Hellman (uncredited)

Writers:

Abraham Polonsky (screenplay), Colin Forbes (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Marvin ... Col. Harry Wargrave
Robert Shaw ... Gen. Marenkov
Linda Evans ... Elsa Lang
Maximilian Schell ... Col. Nikolai Bunin
Joe Namath ... Leroy
Horst Buchholz ... Julian Scholten (as Horst Bucholz)
Mike Connors ... Haller
Claudio Cassinelli ... Col. Molinari
Kristina Nel Kristina Nel ... Helga Mann
David Hess ... Geiger
Günter Meisner ... Rudi Muehler (as Günter Meissner)
Sylva Langova Sylva Langova ... Olga (as Sylvia Langova)
Cyril Shaps ... Sedov
Vladek Sheybal ... Zannbin (as Vladets Shebal)
Arthur Brauss ... Neckerman
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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. There is a tape that gets decoded and harry hands it over when he boards the jet plane with Elsa. Written by Matt <matt@measham.force9.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Just by stepping aboard this train, the most powerful man in Europe has become the most dangerous man in the world. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Avalanche Express See more »

Filming Locations:

Munich, Bavaria, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Robert Shaw. See more »

Goofs

The tyres of the terrorists Mercedes squeal but they are on snow. See more »

Quotes

Gen. Marenkov: My plan is to force Bunin to destroy himself.
See more »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Relentlessly dull
19 November 2018 | by Marco_TrevisiolSee all my reviews

You would think a film with this cast, a promising plot and lots of action could be anything but one big yawn yet 'Avalanche Express' achieves it.

The death of director Mark Robson during production is often cited as a prime reason why this film misfired but - while obviously a tragic and difficult event for the film to deal with - Robson had directed several clunky & heavy-handed films in the previous decade and his best work was well behind him.

There's not much positive that can be said for the film, suffice to say that technically its use of real locations helps it a bit and the avalanche sequence is reasonably well done.

But apart from that the most notable feat of 'Avalanche Express' is that it somehow connives a dreary performance of the usually always compelling Lee Marvin.


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