This exciting disaster/thriller features an all-star cast, including Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, Martin Sheen, Burt Lancaster and O.J. Simpson. 1000 passengers, traveling from Geneva to Stockholm on a luxury... more » express train, learn that there's a terrorist on board carrying a highly infectious plague virus. Further complications arise as the train approaches a weakened bridge. Filmed in Europe with gripping suspense and disaster-epic action. Richard Harris, Sophia Loren, Ava Gardner, Martin Sheen, Burt Lancaster, O.J. Simpson« less
Humberto M. Ferre | Miami, FL United States | 06/17/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"One of the better films amoung the 1970's disaster movie genre; centering around a European train infected with a contagious virus. Interesting film to compare to more recent fare such as Outbreak.Amoung the "all-star" cast few actually qualilfy, with only Richard Harris and Sophie Loren adding genunie star power; while Burt Lanchaster basically just phones in his performance. Also seeing O.J. Simpson as an INTERPOL officer gunning down terrorists in a priest uniform is more then jarring. The direction is taut and the Jerry Goldsmith score is strong as always. Despite its cheesy moments (the hippies singing in the train car) its a good watch.The DVD itself is nice deal for [$], although Artisian's presentation doesn't rank as high as some of its other older catalog film. Sadly its presented in fullscreen which is a major mark against it and there isn't even a trailer to accompany it. Oddly enough it sports motion menus which surprised me. The transfer isn't anywhere near reference quality but its watchable with a few spots where the film goes soft. The mono soundtrack isn't strong at all and the dreaded mono hiss is audible if you're using your sorround system. If you're a fan of the movie its hard to turn down at a bargain price, otherwise rent it."
Why did they quit offering the widescreen?
Yarby | Medina, OH United States | 02/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently picked up a used widescreen version of this movie from Artisan, and was quite pleasantly surprised at the quality of the transfer. Outside of not being anamorphic, the picture was quite good!Why they quit offering the widescreen version, but still offer the butchered pan & scan is beyond me...but if you get the opportunity, get the widescreen version.The release was definitely bare-bones....no extras....period.It is well worth owning, however. This is one of the best of the circa-70's disaster movies, with only O.J. Simpson's acting (or inability to act) as a negative. The ending is stunning...I won't give it away, but it isn't what the viewer is most likely expecting.If you can buy this one used....on widescreen....do so. Even if it's just to see Sophia Loren!"
Excellent disaster thriller!
Yarby | 03/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"the Cassandra Crossing begins when three terrorists enter a U.S, govenrment facility in Geneva and set off a bomb. Security responds and a shootout follows. One terrist is killed while two others attempt escape though a room where a highly contageous form of germ warfare is being developed. One dies later during interrogation, while the other escapes and boards a trans europe train. Colonel Mackenzie(Burt Lancaster) believes that the infected terrorist is abord the train. Passengers on this train include a world famous doctor (Richard Harris) and his wife (Sophia LOren) A heroin trafficer (Martin Sheen with his mother (Ava Gardener) and an international law inforcement officer on his trail (O>J Simpson). Mackenkies suspicions are confirmed shorty after as the infected terrorist is discovered by the doctor and persons become ill from the virus which he transmit. The train is stopped and quarantined at Dusseldorf As armed sodiers toting machine guns board the train with orders to shoot to kill anyone who attempts to leave the train which all the windows are sealed with metal gates. They are informed that they will be rerouted to a medical isolation facility in Poland. To get there they will cross a bridge known as the Cassandra Crossing which has long been abondoned. Some of the passangers are aware that the bridge is derelict and are astonished that it still is standing. They become progressively more uneasy and demand that Mackenzie stop the train, which they beleive will plunge to the bottom of the gorge below if they cross the rotting bridge. Mackenzie refuses and some of the passangers rebel, overpowering some of the soldiers and shooting it out with them. This is a first rate problem thriller which deals with terrorism, government coverups, rebelious passengers, deadly plague, and a race against time to do the only thing possibly to insure their survival. The film is extremely tense, well made with excellent performances and riviting suspense. Although critically tarnished the Cassandra Crossing is one of the greatest thrillers ever made and without any doubt, the best european film in the history of cinema."
Michael R. Airhart | Providence, RI, United States | 06/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cassandra Crossing may be noteworthy mainly because it was one of legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg's last few movies -- and one of Martin Sheen's first.
Sophia Loren, Richard Harris, Burt Lancaster and Strasberg offer decent performances; of course, they could act out a flick such as this in their sleep.
Cassandra Crossing was dismissed by its critics as an all-star disaster movie set in the improbable location of a train. In fact, this is an action movie with a bit of international intrigue -- and it is a movie noteworthy for its decidedly older-than-average cast members.
Cassandra Crossing enjoyed some box office success in Britain, Italy, and Germany. It was granted little publicity in America, however -- perhaps because of its overseas setting, perhaps because the plot line is cynical in its treatment of American foreign-policy and military intentions.
The script behind this movie is weak at times. There are stock characters, average dialogue, and questionable casting -- Ava Gardner essentially plays herself, and O.J. Simpson plays a cop. Thankfully, their roles are small. Some of the special effects on board the train are quite good; elsewhere, they are low-budget. Lancaster's role in particular is undermined by cheap sets and his character's implausible decisions.
Despite the script, formulaic plot line, and very unconventional assortment of characters, the movie is suspenseful. If only Amtrak were this exciting."
You won't even put this movie on "Pause"
Michael R. Airhart | 03/30/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"From the beginning you're caught up in dramatic tension, with just enough release to make you want to know what's happening next. Incredible European scenery along with the drama as you're swept along on the train ride to hell. You'll find yourself screaming at the TV trying to warn everyone. This disaster could really happen ... maybe it has. I'm glad to see the release of this film ... it was hard to find for so many years."