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The Cassandra Crossing (1976)

The Cassandra Crossing (1976)

Sophia LorenRichard HarrisMartin SheenO.J. Simpson
George P. Cosmatos


The Cassandra Crossing (1976) is a English,French,Swedish,German movie. George P. Cosmatos has directed this movie. Sophia Loren,Richard Harris,Martin Sheen,O.J. Simpson are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1976. The Cassandra Crossing (1976) is considered one of the best Drama,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

"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.

The Cassandra Crossing (1976) Reviews

  • Under-rated disaster entry, well worth catching.


    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.

  • Everything but the kitchen sink


    Wow! Now here's a value for money film. You get an outbreak of plague on a train, heading for a rickety bridge, whose passengers include sundry thieves, arms dealers, terrorists, pretty girls and cute kids. We've got helicopters, shoot-outs, explosions, songs, heroic sacrifices, Martin Sheen as Ava Gardner's kept boyfriend, Lee Strasberg emoting nobly and Burt Lancaster as an Army General who is Not To Be Trusted. George Pan Cosmatos directs at a fair lick, the setpieces are staged with relish, there's some neat bits of dialogue (courtesy of Tom Manciewiez, one suspects) and a spectacular climax. By most definitions, this is a pretty bad, crass, melodramatic, ludicrous film, but it's more fun than many a Good Movie I can think of.

  • Don't cross it off! Watch it!


    Disaster epics like "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno" from 20th Century Fox led almost everyone else to try their hand at it, since, for a time, disaster at the movies meant box office gold. This entry was Italy's answer to the genre and, though it is far-fetched and occasionally ridiculous, it is a thrilling and tense movie. Loren toplines as a divorcee and author who happens to be boarded on the same train as her ex-husband (twice!) Harris is the husband, a noted neurosurgeon. The two lob sarcastic and occasionally poignant barbs at each other and attempt a sort of 1970's, updated Nick & Nora Charles thing. (Ironically, their names are Jonathan and Jennifer, the monikers of the later Nick & Nora redux "Hart to Hart" and Stander, Max the conductor in this film, played their cohort---ALSO named Max!) Other passengers board in the typical genre fashion, each with their tics and traits and duties to the story. Gardner looks stunning. She ludicrously, but welcomely, appears in a new drop-dead Franka ensemble for almost every scene. Nothing about her character is realistic, but she adds great style and class to the film. Sheen plays her latest boy-toy and they share a rather kinky, Oedipal relationship. Simpson (in another subpar performance) is a mysterious priest. Strasberg is excruciating as a sort of male Estelle Getty from "The Golden Girls", omnipresently appearing everywhere trying to sell watches to the passengers. He gets better toward the end, but his appearance is mostly embarrassing. Turkel (doubtlessly on board due to her offscreen relationship with Harris) is a hippie singer who warbles a truly awful song which stops everything in its tracks (pun intended.) Also on board: an infected terrorist who is spreading a horrific plague everywhere he goes (which is hilariously punctuated by ominous sounds and scenes of him coughing in the train's food, etc...) Lancaster as a stern army colonel and Thulin (who exists as a verbal punching bag for Lancaster) as a doctor argue over the best course of action. She fights for the rights and lives of the passengers. He sees them as casualties of an unfortunate situation. Eventually, it is decided to direct the train to an old concentration camp in Poland, but first it must traverse the title bridge---The Cassandra Crossing! The film contains some really impressive aerial camera work (the film should be viewed in widescreen) and doesn't take long to begin it's feeling of dread and suspense. Though a lot of the drama is diffused by clumsy editing, inane dialogue, agonizing bit players, lax rear projection (but not often) and lazy acting, there is enough good in the film to overcome this. Immeasurably helpful is Goldsmith's Italian-flavored, chug-chug score which wrings every ounce of excitement it can out of the visuals. It's also fun to see Loren in a film of this type, pitching in and holding her own with Harris in the action scenes. There is a level of emotion in several instances that helps this rise above some other screen flops like "When Time Ran Out" and "Avalanche". A lot happens in this film. The plague would be enough, but then there's gunplay and the weakened bridge! The situation is the film is serious and threatening and isn't relieved until almost the fade out, so a few missteps along the way can be forgiven.

  • Better than most recent disaster movies!


    This disaster movie is both fun and thrilling at the same time, and does not rely at all on computer graphics unlike recent efforts like ARMAGEDDON. In fact, the visuals here, especially at the breath-taking climax, still look hot! The movie is all about a train ride into hell - not only is the Geneva to Stockholm express heading for a collapsing bridge, it has plague on board - no antidote - and nobody will allow the passengers off! Burt Lancaster is great as Colonel MacKenzie, the army intelligence officer in charge of operations, who has a decision to make - should he sacrifice the passengers to prevent a Europe-wide epidemic? Sounds familiar? This might even have inspired such recent movies like EXECUTIVE DECISION, OUTBREAK, PANDORA'S CLOCK(TV mini series) and in part UNDER SIEGE 2. Aside from the action, you get a distinguished cast featuring Sophia Loren, Martin Sheen, Richard Harris, Ava Gardner and more, plus great scenic train footage. Don't miss it!

  • first class compartment


    A trainload of European and American travelers becomes doomed when a medical terrorist infected with bubonic plague stows away and brings the deadly disease on board. As a way of taking care of the mess, the military solution, which wins out over the medical one, in your typical heated and ongoing debate between a colonel and a doctor, is to seal the train shut, occupy it with well-armed soldiers dressed in white jumpsuits and gas masks, and then send them all to the "Cassandra Crossing", a high metal bridge spanning a river far below, that's just waiting for a reason to collapse. However, a passenger rebellion is organized that's quite exciting, as OJ Simpson (a cop) teams with Richard Harris (a doctor) and Martin Sheen (a heroin addict and the companion of Ava Gardner), to free the train, and somehow disconnect the cars. Given a little more drama and attention, the rebellion could have really made this film great, but the film fits into a suitable conclusion that doesn't do much justice to the issues it deals with.


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