The Cassandra Crossing

Movie Information

In Brief: The Velveeta runs thick in this Lew Grade and Carlo Ponti co-production that tries cash in on the waning days of the 1970s disaster movie craze with this weird hybrid medical-thriller-and-disaster picture. The Cassandra Crossing (1976) is directed with minimum artistry by George Pan Costamos (who would change the Pan to "P" and go on to other things like Rambo: First Blood Part II). Filled with bad process work, and cursed with laughable model work, almost none of it works. What we have here is a train (just brimming with generally past-their-prime stars) hurtling toward possible doom so the world will be saved from — and will never know of — a deadly plague carried on board by a Swedish terrorist, who got it in an illegal American research facility. The whole thing is being overseen by stiff-backed Col. Burt Lancaster, who is more concerned with secrecy than the thousand souls aboard the train. Clunky dialogue, disinterested actors (some of whom ease their frustrations by overacting), a plot that doesn't make good sense and a general air of ennui don't help. Star-gazers and admirers of the disaster genre may get more out of it.
Genre: Medical Thriller/Disaster
Director: George Pan Costamos (Rambo: First Blood Part Two)
Starring: Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Martin Sheen, O.J. Simpson, Lionel Stander, Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner
Rated: PG

The Hendersonville Film Society will show The Cassandra Crossing Sunday, Jan. 3, at 2 p.m. in the Smoky Mountain Theater at Lake Pointe Landing Retirement Community (behind Epic Cinemas), 333 Thompson St., Hendersonville.

About Ken Hanke
Head film critic for Mountain Xpress from December 2000 until his death in June 2016. Author of books "Ken Russell's Films," "Charlie Chan at the Movies," "A Critical Guide to Horror Film Series," "Tim Burton: An Unauthorized Biography of the Filmmaker."

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.