The Cassandra Crossing (1976)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller


The Cassandra Crossing (1976) Poster

Passengers on a European train have been exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody will let them off the train. So what happens next?


6.4/10
7,596

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6 July 2001 | Mickey-2
6
| A potential deadly virus rides the rails, and the only prevention may be an unsafe bridge crossing at Cassandra.
This film, released in 1976, was another one of the star-filled disaster movies of the 70's that had audiences wondering which players were going to survive, and which ones were doomed. Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster, Martin Sheen, and O.J. Simpson head the starring roles, and that list does perk the interest for viewers. The only drawback is the first part of the film does spend a bit too much time in developing character interactions, and the like, which does subtract from the story itself.

A terrorist group stages a raid on an International Health Building in Geneva. One of the terrorists manages to escape, but becomes a carrier of a very dangerous plague virus. He boards a train that is scheduled to go to Stockholm, and in doing so, exposes many of the passengers to the virus. Lancaster is called in to handle the rescue operation, and he decides to send the train to a crossing in Poland that is unsafe. In his mind, it is better to sacrifice a 1,000 lives, instead of spreading the virus all over Europe. Richard Harris, a doctor on board the doomed train, believes those that are sick, are recovering, and he pushes for a different solution. Col. MacKenzie (Lancaster) refuses to accept that answer, and the train is sent towards the Cassandra Crossing, and certain destruction, if Harris is unable to stage a rescue effort on his own.

I rated this a 6/10, only because of the slowness in developing the characters. Once the train leaves Geneva, and the seriousness of the matter is realized, this film does keep the audience involved.

Critic Reviews



Did You Know?

Trivia

Lionel Stander (Max the Train Conductor) also played another character named "Max", on Hart to Hart (1979).


Quotes

Col. Stephen Mackenzie: Good God woman! Do you think I would personally send a thousand people to their deaths?
Dr. Elena Stradner: No. But I think you'd simply let them be killed. And that's almost worse.


Goofs

A very general map of Europe shown at the beginning of the film is full of misspelled cities in Poland and their locations are scattered out of place and proportions. Examples: place called VUGOD is supposed to be Godów, KNORW - Knurów, ZIWIEC - ZYWIEC. Also a place called Janov, Poland (Janów) does not exist in that area as described, the only real place called that is far north, couple hundred of kilometers from the train.


Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION Geneva


Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The 1980s American video version deletes all the carnage during the final sequence, when half of the train goes onto the bridge, which collapses under it. This version shows the train itself, crashing to the ground, but removes the interior shots of passengers being killed, as well as shots of bodies floating in the river in the aftermath, giving the impression that the front half of the train was empty when it fell. This version also deletes the scene with the song "I'm Still On My Way", sung by the hippies, various instances of cursing and other assorted shots which got the film its R rating in 1976.


Soundtracks

It's All a Game
(uncredited)
Music by
Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Hal Shaper

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama | Thriller

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