Cassandra Crossing the Rubicon

DATELINE: Old-Fashioned All-Star Thriller

Cassandra

Wow: Ava with Sheen, Loren, and Harris!

You might not believe what you are seeing with this old chestnut of a disaster thriller movie. Back in the day when Towering Infernos were all the rage, some producers came up a loony disaster thriller called The Cassandra Crossing.

A biotech terrorism movie from 1977 features one of those staggering all-star casts and a plot right out of kitsch horror. This time the bad guys are dressed in hazmat suits and are sending a train one-way to oblivion.

It seems terrorists have somehow escaped to one of Europe’s luxury train—and carrying some virus (before computer troubles usurped the idea) that condemns the 1000 passengers to sure death by plague, unless the United States can kill them all by another means to save the world from a pandemic.

The US government will not let anyone off the train. They have decided to send it to a condemned bridge in Poland where it will crash, collapse, and kill everyone.

The killer cast alone is eye-popping:  Sophia Loren is lovingly filmed as only the wife of the movie’s producer could insist (Carlo Ponti joined up with Sir Lew Grade).  Then, you have aging Ava Gardner and her boytoy lover Martin Sheen. Richard Harris is some kind of celebrity doctor, and O.J. Simpson is wearing a priest’s collar and carrying a gun.

To top it off, Burt Lancaster is back at International Health headquarters with John Philip Law and Dr. Ingrid Thulin, to round out the international cast. Oh, don’t forget that Lionel Stander is the train’s conductor.

When the men in hazmat suits take over, they board up the train and send it to Poland, sending shivers down the post-traumatic syndrome of Lee Strasberg as an old Jewish man who starts to relive his trip to a concentration camp.

The film is a bit intriguing as we wait to see Ava and OJ do a scene together or watch Martin Sheen take a knife away from OJ Simpson and let him kill people with automatic weapons.

The real star of the movie seems to be Ava Gardner’s basset hound who is airlifted off the train to be studied for bacterial viral symptoms. This nut-cake movie has to be seen through to its disaster climax at a bridge too far into Poland.

You may hoot too long and too often.

 

 

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Law Learned from Bad TV Shows?

DATELINE: Dumb and Dumber

It only seems like fiction when your police are dumb and our political leaders are dumber.

On the Trump legal front, we watched as the Attorney General of New York on CNN today discussed the “facts” of the Trump University case.

For years the media has suffered legal folks begging off that they cannot discuss a case while active in the process. The people of New York have elected an imbecile to head their legal protection. By talking about a case in litigation, he has broken the First Commandment of law.

All Trump has to do to get rid of that case is now subpoena the New York AG himself as he has NOW made himself a witness as he has spoken about contested matters of material fact.

That will kill the entire case as the AG of NY will not want to be disbarred for inserting himself as a witness into the case….well, nobody’s perfect, but this maroon is sitting on his law degree.

And, your police continue to be vigilant—to a point. With the OJ Simpson case back on TV in a miniseries, some retired officer in Los Angeles revealed he had the murder weapon, heretofore lost evidence.

The cop should go to jail for withholding evidence from the defense. Is this at the time OJ’s civil case was going on? This Knife could if fact show someone else did it. Whether this cop was off duty or not he was in fact a member of the force at the time, LAPD has a big problem here. This actually supports the OJ dream team tag line that the LAPD withheld and planted evidence.

Whether it actually is, or not, OJ has beaten that rap. If the knife is genuine and does not have his DNA or fingerprints, then he was truly innocent. It’s only taken 22 years and bad judgment on the behalf of police.

So, we have our problems being compounded by the forces of law and order. They have learned their legalese from watching bad TV shows, or they slept through the coursework to earn a bogus degree.

It was never this bad for Jerry Orbach when he took down the bad guys every week on Law and Order.