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The Odessa File (1974)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  18 October 1974 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 6,468 users  
Reviews: 48 user | 19 critic

After reading the diary of an elderly Jewish man who committed suicide, freelance journalist Peter Miller begins to investigate the alleged sighting of a former SS-Captain who commanded a ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Eduard Roschmann
...
Frau Miller
...
Sigi
...
Klaus Wenzer
Peter Jeffrey ...
David Porath
Klaus Löwitsch ...
Gustav Mackensen
Kurt Meisel ...
Alfred Oster
Hannes Messemer ...
General Glücks
Garfield Morgan ...
Israeli General
Shmuel Rodensky ...
Simon Wiesenthal (as Schmuel Rodensky)
Ernst Schröder ...
Werner Deilman
Günter Strack ...
Kunik (as Gunter Strack)
Noel Willman ...
Franz Bayer
Martin Brandt ...
Marx
Edit

Storyline

After reading the diary of an elderly Jewish man who committed suicide, freelance journalist Peter Miller begins to investigate the alleged sighting of a former SS-Captain who commanded a concentration camp during World War II. Miller eventually finds himself involved with the powerful organization of former SS members, called ODESSA, as well as with the Israeli secret service. Miller probes deeper and eventually discovers a link between the SS-Captain, ODESSA, and his own family. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the Smash Suspense Novel of the Year....."THE ODESSA FILE" See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akta Odessy  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)| (flashback scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character played by Hannes Messemer is not referred to by name in the dialogue but is intended to be SS-Gruppenführer Richard Glücks, former SS Inspector of Concentration Camps who disappeared after World War II and is rumored to have been one of the founding members of the ODESSA. See more »

Goofs

Scenes set in Hamburg and Vienna were obviously shot in Munich. See more »

Quotes

[Miller is trying to sell his editor a story based on the diary]
Hoffmann: No one wants to read about Jews.
Peter Miller: They were GERMANS!
Hoffmann: They were German Jews.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Passions of Carol (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas Dream
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics by Tim Rice and André Heller (as Andre Heller)
Sung by Perry Como
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Marred only by one thing
11 August 2007 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Sometime between 1979 and today, filmmakers have lost the ability to tell a suspenseful story, to flesh out characters, so that today we see more style than substance, more gore and mayhem than plot development.

The Day of the Jackal, Marathon Man, Eye of the Needle, The Boys From Brazil and others will be labeled boring by many here because they must wait for something to happen. A typical example from Odessa is the reunion scene. Voight infiltrates the meeting of old German soldiers, make that old devoted Nazis, gathering in a beer hall. He snaps a photo of the speaker, shouting what sounds like the words of the pre-war Deutschland uber Alles. One man comes and begins his eviction from the hall. In the next scene we see him nursing his wounds, which are far more serious than the pushes we see. Tell me that today we would not witness a brutal beating punch by punch, kick by kick.

Films then used violence to advance the plot, such as the "Is it safe?" interrogation in Marathon Man. Seventies films are no shorter than today's masterpieces, but so much more intricate plot is compressed into their time frame.

Three Days of the Jackal is a perfect telling of a Forsyth book; we never become involved with the characters but watch in fascination. Here we follow Miller (Voight) giving us a horse in the race. I have reservations about the final confrontation with Schell and Miller's motivations but I have none about the story in general.

Only in the score does Odessa fall short; the music sounds almost if it was added as an afterthought and does nothing to enhance moods or foreshadow scenes. Worse, the score seems the beginning of a pattern that continues to this day where in some scenes the music is the main character. Only the bier-hall singing of the old Nazis sounds appropriate.

I rated the film 8 of 10.


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