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The Big Bus 1976 film review

The Big Bus 1976 film review

The Big Bus (1976, United States)

Running time
88 minutes
Our rating
★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 7 / 10

Cyclops, a huge nuclear-powered bus, is about to make its maiden voyage - a non-stop trip from New York City to Denver, Colorado. The presentation of the car to the journalists is cut short when explosion destroys part of the facility. Cyclops was not damaged, but the driver, who was suppose to take it to Denver was injured. Professor Irwin Baxter, who designed the bus, is desperate to find a replacement driver, which will not be easy - Cyclops is a very complicated vehicle and it takes time to learn how to operate it. There is one man, who could save the situation, experienced Dan Torrence, but Kitty Baxter, professor’s daughter, will not hear of it. Dan broke her heart in the past and is the last person she would like to meet again. But in current situation she has no choice and soon Dan Torrence becomes part of the team. There is one problem though, people, who caused the explosion are determined to stop Cyclops at any cost. And Dan Torrence has a dark mystery in his part - only he knows what really happened on Mount Diablo years ago...

One of the early parodies of popular in 1970s disaster movies (not to be mistaken with disastrous movies), which shown with great detail how people are dealing with drastic situations, like being trapped in skyscraper on fire, in sinking cruise ship or airplane that is doomed to crash. Here we have a nuclear-powered bus, multiple subplots, interesting cast and quite entertaining comedy. The Big Bus failed to find audience after premiere, although its idea and style could have been behind success of further parodies, such as Airplane!.

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Watch The Big Bus

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Creators of The Big Bus

James Frawley films

James Frawley


Lawrence J. Cohen films

Lawrence J. Cohen


Fred Freeman films

Fred Freeman


Cast of The Big Bus

Joseph Bologna films

Joseph Bologna

as Dan Torrance

Stockard Channing films

Stockard Channing

as Kitty Baxter

John Beck films

John Beck

as Shoulders

Bob Dishy films

Bob Dishy

as Dr. Kurtz

Sally Kellerman films

Sally Kellerman

as Sybil Crane

Richard Mulligan films

Richard Mulligan

as Claude Crane

Lynn Redgrave films

Lynn Redgrave

as Camille Levy

Richard B. Shull films

Richard B. Shull

as Emery Bush

Rene Auberjonois films

Rene Auberjonois

as Father Joseph Kudos

Ned Beatty films

Ned Beatty

as Shorty Scotty

Ruth Gordon films

Ruth Gordon

as Old Lady

Jose Ferrer films

Jose Ferrer

as Ironman

Harold Gould films

Harold Gould

as Professor Irwin Baxter

Larry Hagman films

Larry Hagman

as Parking Lot Doctor

Stuart Margolin films

Stuart Margolin

as Alex the Hot Dog Seller

Howard Hesseman films

Howard Hesseman

as Jack

Murphy Dunne films

Murphy Dunne

as Tommy Joyce

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Trivia about The Big Bus

The Cyclops

The bus used in movie, the Cyclops, was actually built for the production. Of course it wasn’t fully functional bus, only the two cabins upfront were fully equipped for external shots, but nevertheless it was a roadworthy car that actually travelled during filming. The cost of building this Cyclops was supposed to be around 250,000 USD and after the production ended was used to promote movie in California, but later scrapped.

Murphy Dunne

Murphy Dunne, who played pianist in the lounge, was actually a musician known for being part of the Blues Brothers. He also appeared in both Blues Brothers movies.

The Big Bus quotes

Dan Torrance: You eat one lousy foot and they call you a cannibal. What a world!