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The Odessa File (1974)

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Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former SS captain, who allegedly commanded a concentration camp during WWII.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »



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


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 | Plot Synopsis


The movie will startle you! See more »


Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

18 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Akta Odessy  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastmancolor)| (flashback scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The character played by Hannes Messemer is not referred to by name in the dialogue. However, it 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 »


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


[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 »


Referenced in Dallas: The Odessa File (1990) See more »


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

engrossing, suspenseful drama
25 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Jon Voight does an excellent job in this intriguing film about a reporter searching for a war criminal who escaped Germany after World War II with the help of an organization called Odessa. His investigation leads him to Simon Wiesenthal and to a group of Israelis who train him to infiltrate Odessa. The historical setting is 1963 Germany, at the time of the Kennedy assassination This is a very suspenseful film with wonderful performances from the supporting cast as well: Mary Tamm, Maximillian Schell, Maria Schell, and Derek Jacoby.

For me, The Odessa File has always had an old-fashioned feeling to it -it was made in 1974, set in 1963, and almost seems like it could have been made in the '40s. Truly an excellent film.

As a bit of trivia no doubt already mentioned, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the music for the film, which I frankly found rather intrusive.

36 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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