When a senior Russian official, Gen. Marenkov, decides to defect to the west, CIA agent Harry Wargrave is sent to lead the team to get him out. Malenkov reveals that the Russians are trying to develop biological weapons. Wargrave decides that Malenkov should travel across Europe by train, on the Atlantic Express, in an attempt to try and lure the Russians into attacking the train so that they can discover who the Russian secret agents in Europe are. During the journey they must survive terrorist attack and an avalanche, all planned by Russian spy-catcher Nikolai Bunin. —IMDb
Mark Robson (4 December 1913 – 20 June 1978) was a Canadian-born film editor, film director and producer in Hollywood.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, he moved to the United States at a young age. He studied at the University of California, Los Angeles then found work in the prop department at 20th Century Fox studios. He eventually went to work at RKO Pictures where he began training as a film editor. In 1940 he worked as an assistant to Robert Wise on the editing of Citizen Kane in addition to several other films. Both he and Wise benefited tremendously from producer and screenwriter Val Lewton, who promoted Robson from film editor to production assistant and later as director. In 1943, at the insistence of Lewton, Robson assisted Lewton and director Jacques Tourneur in a series of low-budget horror films produced by Val Lewton, including Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie. Later, Lewton was instrumental in promoting Robson to the director’s chair for films such as The Seventh… read more
Monte Hellman (born July 12, 1932, in New York City, New York) is an American film director, producer, and film editor.
Hellman is among a group of directing talent mentored by Roger Corman, who produced several of the director’s early films. Hellman’s most critically acclaimed film to date has been Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), a road movie that was a box office failure at the time of its initial release but has subsequently turned into a perennial cult favorite.1 Hellman’s two acid westerns starring Jack Nicholson, Ride in the Whirlwind and The Shooting, both shot in 1965 and released directly to television in 1968, have also developed cult followings, particularly the latter. A third western, China 9, Liberty 37 (1978), was far less successful critically, although it too has its admirers, as do Cockfighter (1974) (aka Born to Kill) and Iguana (1988). In 1989 he directed the straight-to-video slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch… read more
When Mike Conners welcomes Marvin's Wargrave, he extends his hand. Instead of the expected handshake, Wargrave presents stolen data. This initiates an interesting theme, the avalanche of cold-war creates casualties of denied sybiotic agendas. People 'working the same circuit,' do so without any possible sympathy, willing to sacrifice another's agenda. Death is not physical, but of political and social isolation.
Some may find this to be tedious, but to my delight I loved this film. Stripped of all the tedious plot strands that get added to films and cause them to be dragged down, this is a streamlined suspense movie which, if you peel off the Cold War politics, is spy drama mixed with a tale of human determination in extreme circumstances. Also look out for David Hess in a small role.