"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.Written by
At noon on October 25th, the Transcontinental Express left Geneva Station with almost one thousand people aboard. Their destination: Basel, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Stockholm. No one arrived. See more »
Opening credits prologue: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION Geneva See more »
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. See more »
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.
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