The Cassandra Crossing 1976 (1976) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train so what happens next? Runtime: 129 mins Release Date: 18 Dec 1976
I remember watching this years ago and it still send a chill down my spine even after repeated watching.Swedish terrorists attack the U.S. mission at the International Health Organisation in Geneva, Switzerland where the following battle causes massive breakages in a nearby lab which spreads a mysterious plague on the men. One of them escapes and embarks on the cross-Europe train with up to 1000 people on board which final destination is in Stockholm.Which follows is a suspenseful thriller which sees tense situations on both the train and back at the IHO headquarters which lead to the <more>
Cassandra Crossing of the title.Burt Lancaster stars the U.S. Colonel in charge of the investigation while Richard Harris stars a famous neurologist who becomes doctor on demand on the train itself and both play their parts well.An all-star cast also features Martin Sheen, OJ Simpson, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner and Lee Strasburg.It's a must watch.
I have just watched this again on DVD. Its one of those Friday Nigh Films as I call them..You know late night, nothing else on, half asleep start watching and then gripped to the end OK so the acting is wooded, the actual crossing and train look like they are made of meccanno or lego, and the story line is predictable. But these are the kinds of film I like. Its not reliant on 20million dollars of special effects, or a well worn storyline.A swiss peace protester, whilst trying to blow up a medical facility, contracts a highly contagious disease. He evades authorities by boarding a <more>
pan-European train. An all star cast board the train and start their journey, as the US military are discovering the location of the walking disease spreader. From there on you know the whole film is leading upto one moment, that being what happens at Cassandra Crossing ? The disease is cured, but Burt as the US Colonel refuses to stop the train there is a suggestion his superiors actually want the train destroyed with the people in it . Harris tries to persuade him otherwise, but must eventually take more direct action.There are lots of other subplots, such as the old Jewish man, who is afraid to return to Poland, the toy-boy relationship which is a cover for drugs trafficking, and the policeman posing as a vicar. This helps delay the final moment of truth.All in all a good film, with suspense and intrigue. Oh a lovely dog as well.
"Outbreak" meets "The Poseidon Adventure" on wheels! (by Aussie Stud)
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** Surprisingly, this smart Italian production was one of the better disaster movies released in the 70's. Headed by a top-notch cast and a relatively smaller budget than most of the film's rivals ie. "Earthquake", "The Towering Inferno", etc. , this film delivers both suspense, action and thrills along with fine performances delivered by veteran actors.Headed by Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Lee Strasberg and a young Martin Sheen, the experienced cast members make the most of what is a fairly basic storyline <more>
complete with every single cliche' heard of in the book of movies and turn it into a two-hour-plus miracle.The premise is simple. Three terrorists plant a bomb in the building of the International Health Organization only to have their plan bungled by security. When one of the terrorists manages to escape, he exposes himself to the Pneumonic Plague after a stray bullet strikes a holding tank filled with it. To complicate things even more, he makes his escape aboard a departing train filled with all of our famous actors.When Ava Gardner's face embraces the screen, I swear she wore that same outfit in "Earthquake" including the hat! . Sophia Loren in all of her stunning beauty manages to change outfits three times before the train comes to an end! Martin Sheen plays Ave Gardner's playboy who traffics drugs on the side. Richard Harris plays our film's hero and Burt Lancaster in a completely different role plays the film's bad guy as the Army Corporal assigned to 'contain' the outbreak by any means possible.It's too bad that this movie stole cliche's from other disaster movies. For example, one extremely cheesy scene happens at the beginning of the movie on the train when a group of hippies start singing some ridiculous song together and we catch scenes of the train gliding along the track against a landscape of beauty. Helen Reddy did this in "Airport '75". Maureen McGovern did it in "The Towering Inferno" and Carol Linley lip synced in "The Poseidon Adventure". Whether or not this was intended to be released professionally as a single connected to this movie is unknown - but it is completely irrelevant.We spend the first half of the movie identifying the effects the terrorist has on the passengers of the train as he spreads the plague through food contamination and air transmission. The plague itself doesn't look very deadly. We see a few people sweating and murmuring to themselves in their fevered delirium, but that is all. Once the train is stopped to contain the outbreak, the movie takes a twist in both aspects of drama and flow of action. The setting almost becomes "concentration camp"-like once military personnel board the train to make sure no one escapes to spread the disease.Richard Harris and Sophia Loren make a formidable heroic duo. They both portray ex-husband and wife, but their love is rekindled once again through all of this drama. Every time the two share a scene together, the director of the film replaces the lens with a "soft screen" and the two actors pass off dialogue fit for an episode of "The Young & The Restless". But once they put that garbage to the side, they make a great "Hart To Hart"! Harris, as the film's hero, leads a handful of passengers on a mission to overthrow the military personnel and have the train stopped once he discovers that the virus is 'treatable'. Lancaster, on the other hand, refuses to have the train stopped until it reaches its final destination. And hence, we come to the title of the film itself."The Cassandra Crossing" is an old bridge suspended high above a river that was closed down in 1948. The people that used to live below it moved away because they felt it was dangerous and on the verge of collapse. Lancaster believes the bridge is strong enough to support the train as it crosses it to its final destination. Harris on the other hand thinks otherwise. But Lancaster has ulterior motives for the train's 'final' destination. Whether or not Harris has found a cure for the outbreak, Lancaster feels that the train and all of its passengers should be destroyed as a safer precaution.Ultimately, the train does not make it to its final destination and in some of the better and more horrific scenes I've seen in a disaster film, we get to witness the demise of the train, some of the passengers and "The Cassandra Crossing".As an Italian production, Sophia Loren probably felt obliged and perhaps honored to star in this particular 'disaster' film as one may usually associate her with selecting more serious roles. Ava Gardner made this her second disaster film following "Earthquake" and almost plays the same ro le in both pictures. Heavy on the drinking, 'airy' in the head and frightening with her hair down! OJ Simpson, also no stranger to disaster films ie. "The Towering Inferno" is given a bit more to chew on here as his character plays one of the key roles in saving a lot of the passengers. Surprisingly, Lancaster pulls off his role as an unlikeable 'obedient link in the chain of command' as a Doctor accuses him in the film. At the end, we witness his character showing some scenes of humanity and emotion, whereas throughout the film he comes off one-sided and completely arrogant.The thing that I liked the best about this movie is that it is one of the 'lesser' known films of the disaster genre, yet one of the better. While viewing this movie, you can't shake off the time gap from when it was filmed as everything in it literally *screams* "70's"!! From the lines on the floor in the International Health Organization building to the upholstery on the train behind Sophia Loren's head. Check out the white chairs in Lancaster's office! And for every skivvy that Martin Sheen wears just about matches the clothes the Carly-Simon-wannabe singer wears when she sings that awful song at the beginning of the movie!For a great movie, this is extremely difficult to find at your local video store. I recommend this one to all those who LOVE disaster films.8/10
Big stars on a train headed for a condemned bridge. what more could you ask for? (by navsikand)
The Cassandra crossing is one of the better offerings from the Disaster movies of the 1970's. Helped by a good somewhat camp cast including Sophia Loren, Richard Haris,Ava Gardner, Burt LAnchaster and Martin Sheen. Gardner in particular gets some belting comic lines. The film builds up the tension well as the passengers realise their imminent fate and predicament. Perhaps most shocking of all for a commercial film of this genre is that it doesn't offer a complete happy ending in that most of the passengers do end up at the bottom of the gorge when the bridge falters. These are just <more>
normal people unfortunate enough to board this unlucky train. Perhaps most upsetting in the climax is the fact that even mothers and children are depicted suffering in the violent death climax.... That said overall its a great example of what a good "bad" movies is all about....
The Cassandra Crossing is a highly believable movie, given the current powers that be in Washington, D.C. One can readily believe this could happen today, given their current lack of regard for the environment and people in general.
Like it a lot (by miles79)
First time I've seen this film in the late 80s I was about an age of 10 years. I've seen it as a disaster film then, but it was impressing me not only by his incredible climax you won't see this from an modern disaster film, especially the scene when someone is gored by a steel girder – 90s disaster films work in the opposite direction: people are killed, some survived, the hero appears, he rescues everyone – or the most important characters, and in the end they all live happily ever after – watch DAYLIGHT for example , but also from its united-European scenario. A train <more>
departing from Switzerland, crossing Germany and the CSSR, heading for Poland offering to care for the infected in cold-war Europe? That was revolutionary for me – no omens for united Germany were showing at this time. What I missed that time was the film's reference for Nazi Germany. Getting older, I realized the Nuremberg !, place of not only the war tribunal, but also the Nazi's "Rassengesetze" race laws story of isolating the whole train and its passengers, is related to the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. Historically interested, I looked forward to watch this one again. It took almost 15 years to fulfill this wish. I've asked some friends about it, but not knowing anyone of the cast after all this time remember I had been just 10 years old , no one seemed to know what film I meant – till I searched some worth-watching films from my TV guide at IMDb's – and there it was. Watching THE CASSANDRA CROSSING for the second time I was totally struck by old Mr Kaplan's story of being not able to go back to Janov where his family had died thirty years ago. I thought to remember barking dogs and shouted orders in German language there aren't there, but the speech repeated in four languages accompanying the isolation is doing a great job , but instead of it I found this old man mourning his past – and it moved me in a much deeper way. For me Mr Kaplan's final sacrifice makes much more sense than every other try of rescue. I like this film a lot. Maybe it is not the best made one I made out enough holes in its plot as well , but it is part of my special personal film history. It has made his way between my personal Serious Films Top Ten feat. CASABLANCA, Bernhard Wicki's MORITURI, Barbra Streisand's YENTL, and WATERSHIP DOWN . 9 of 10 for THE CASSANDRA CROSSING.
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 <more>
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.
OK this is going be brief. as aim going out..this is a rare old film but i liked the storyline & there was a lot of famous actors a lot of whom are long gone now i agree they could of done more with the realism on the set but come on its back in the day like the 70's...hello for all other members that have insulted this film there was Little or no special effects then...so i would give it a generous 8 out 10 well to be honest i would give the film 4 but due to the fact its got "Sophia Loren" in it means a lot to me as shes gotta be the world most beautiful & amazing <more>
woman i would love to meet her...mm by the way aim 34 so liking Sophie doesn't mean aim old...or am i...???well to contact me as with anything else i publish heres my details Keith the beast no spaces @yahoo. co . UK regards Keith oh & to the admin why is this website so restricted on the text or comments we put.? i can understand it been approved before it goes onto your website but come on..
A standout in the world of 70's clichéd disaster movies (by rbsjrx)
The 70's were rife with disaster movies. All were formulaic and most were pretty bad. Aside from the formula, they were bad because they hung flimsy plots and characterizations on spectacle and hoped we wouldn't notice. Two that stood apart for me were "The Cassandra Crossing" and "The Towering Inferno". "The Towering Inferno" was among the most technically silly of the bunch, but it had some good performances to redeem it. "The Cassandra Crossing" took a different tack, eschewing spectacle to tell a good tale.Another hallmark of 70's <more>
disaster films were the roster of capable performers who weren't current A-listers. "The Towering Inferno" broke the mold with a number of A-list talents. "The Cassandra Crossing" followed the trend but made up for it with shrewd, savvy casting choices. Richard Harris spent a lot of time flirting with A-list status, but never rose above an A- despite his talent. Sophia Loren is a classic, but this film was made when she was getting old enough that the studio suits considered her a relic. Obviously, Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster were past their career peaks, but still capable of turning in a better performance that the material could justify. And with only a little screen time, Lee Strasberg delivers a master's class portraying the minor spoiler Heroic Sacrifice character.The two weakest characters were cast for obvious reasons that had nothing to do with the film - O.J. Simpson at the height of his celebrity, Ann Turkel because she was married to Richard Harris. Another interesting point is the international flavor of the cast. Ingrid Thulin, in particular turns in a memorable performance.The plot is a mishmash of terrorists, government conspiracies, with a central plot device that anticipated "Speed" by 17 years. As with most disaster movies, the plot is almost incidental. We know going in that some characters will die, others will live, but disaster will be narrowly or partially averted. As in all disaster movies, it's the journey rather than the destination that's important. "The Cassandra Crossing" takes us on a better than average trip.