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. Written by Matt <matt@measham.force9.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Fast Track For All-Star Adventure.

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Ireland | USA

Language:

English | Russian

Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El expreso de los espías 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

Robert Shaw was very ill during filming and died during its production. His voice was so weak and his delivery was so shaky because of his illness that his voice was dubbed by Robert Rietty, although Rich Little also dubbed three words near the end of the picture ("Harry, come on") and six words in Shaw's own voice were deemed usable ("Too hot in that train" and "Harry"). Little insisted he not be paid, as he was a big admirer of Shaw. See more »

Goofs

During the avalanche scene, the train driver is seen attempting to accelerate the train out danger. However the speedometer is reading zero. See more »

Quotes

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

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User Reviews

A Big Disapointment
7 February 2002 | by allenblankSee all my reviews

I am a big Robert Shaw fan. I was very sad when I heard that he died at a very young age of 52. So when I learned that he made two films before he died, I looked foward to seeing them, so I could spend some more time with that great acting talent. The first "Force 10 From Navarone" was a fun adventure film with Shaw still at the top of his game the second was "Avalanche Express"

It came out some 14 months after he died, and I went quickley to my local movie theater to see it. Imagine my disapointment when I first heard him speak and realised that majestic voice was dubbed. It hurt alot that I would not hear that wonderful voice for the next 88 minutes. The voice didn't sound anything remotely like him.

As for the film itself, what can I say about a film where Joe Namath givves the best acting performance. As the other review says, if you love watching bad movies this is the film for you. The biggest laugh is at the end where the Robert Shaw character is singing a sad Russian song (Another sadness as I wouldn't hear Shaw's own wondeful singing voice_ and then the film cuts to an exterior shot of the airplane and while the "Shaw" voice is still sing he is joined by the croaking silver tomes of Lee Marvin. Who could ever forget his rendition of "Wandering Star"in "Paint Your Wagon". What was to be a pogniant moment was turned in to a laughfest instead. I left the theater wishing I followed the ushers advice as saw Meteor instead.


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