MovieChat Forums > The Cassandra Crossing (1976) Discussion > Terribly Dated and Completely Ludicrous

Terribly Dated and Completely Ludicrous

I stumbled across this film for the first time tonight, and after realizing it had such a great cast I decided to give it a look. The film was terribly dated, poorly written (cringe-worthy dialogue) and ultimately just laughably bad.

-These ease with the two “terrorists” (more like rubes) were able to break into a government installation was ridiculous. The surviving terrorist’s escape (by breaking a window and scaling the walls to freedom with relative ease) was even more ridiculous. And only, what, 3 Marines on hand as a security force?

-The time they (Colonel Mackenzie & co.) wasted trying to find out what language the dying terrorist was speaking was so silly. Had this been a real terrorist scenario (even 33 years ago) I’m sure a linguistics expert would have called to immediately determine what language the guy spoke, and all manner of security protocols invoked to thwart the situation much faster than this meandering, silly, script implied—just patently ridiculous the way the situation was fumbled.

-(paraphrased) “We can’t stop the you want 1000 [potentially infected] passengers to scatter all over the place?”

Rrrrright....sorry Burt (Lancaster, as Col. Mackenzie) but they were way out in the country, in the middle of nowhere—MILES and MILES from the nearest town. Where were they going to “scatter” to--into the woods? Why would they? I mean who on a train bound for Stockholm, that is suddenly and momentarily stopped in the middle of the countryside would “scatter” anywhere at all?

All they had to do was stop the train at an appropriate spot for 2 – 3 minutes while the chopper landed, and then expeditiously de-train the infected terrorist. Instead they risked the lives of Dr. Chambelain, his ex-wife and the chopper pilots—not to mention the rest of the passengers had the chopper collided with the train while attempting such a dangerous and completely unnecessary maneuver of removing the terrorist while the train was still speeding on.

Sure it makes for great drama, and ramps up the high tension, but it makes no sense at all.

*Special Note: Ann Turkel’s dreadful singing with that band of hippies—almost made the movie bearable it was soooo bad that it was actually funny. Martin Sheen as a pretty-boy “boy-toy” for Ava Gardner’s character as an aging vamp, and O.J. Simpson’s wooden nay petrified performance as a Narc posing as a Clergyman.

This film was a train wreck...literally...hi-balling it to Cheesetown. It was incredibly flawed, and laughably bad. After awhile I started to enjoy it as an unintentional comedy.

"Stick with me baby, and you'll be fartin' thru silk!"


Man, you really weren't paying attention.

The terrorists went into International Health Organization disguised as medical emergency personnel and a patient. That building is not the U.S. government. Besides, the part of the building that housed the U.S. secret lab was guarded by marines.

The captured, wounded and dying terrorist wasn't saying anything, so they had to guess his nationality while trying to make him talk.

There were a number of reasons why MacKenzie didn't want to stop the train -- (1) No one knew how many passengers had been infected. (2) He had orders to contain the disease and, more importantly, the knowledge of the disease, the idea that the disease existed.

You idea of "expeditiously de-train the infected terrorist" may sound fine to you, but MacKenzie couldn't take that chance with the kind of orders he got. Remember, the dark part of the story is the U.S. government trying to keep this plague research and that particular strain of the disease that they were testing a secret.


If you can't suspend your disbelief, then you shouldn't be watching fictional movies. Stick to documentaries.


yo mommas Terribly Dated and Completely Ludicrous