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The Odessa File (1974)

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2:01 | Trailer
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.

Director:

Ronald Neame

Writers:

Frederick Forsyth (based on the novel by), Kenneth Ross (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... Peter Miller
Maximilian Schell ... Eduard Roschmann
Maria Schell ... Frau Miller
Mary Tamm ... Sigi
Derek Jacobi ... 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 Ernst Schröder ... Werner Deilman
Günter Strack Günter Strack ... Kunik (as Gunter Strack)
Noel Willman ... Franz Bayer
Martin Brandt ... Marx
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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 S.S. Captain who commanded a concentration camp during World War II. Miller eventually finds himself involved with the powerful organization of former S.S. members, called "O.D.E.S.S.A.", as well as with the Israeli secret service. Miller probes deeper and eventually discovers a link between the S.S. Captain, "O.D.E.S.S.A.", and his own family. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The movie will startle you! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

18 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Akta Odessy See more »

Filming Locations:

Salzburg, Austria See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)| Black and White (flashback scenes)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer John Woolf and director Ronald Neame were convinced that this movie must be made in Germany in order to achieve the authenticity and atmosphere of the source Frederick Forsyth novel. Since the author had based his story on real-life happenings following long research, it would have done an injustice to the work to film it other than in a setting which would give it the presence of reality. Even the studio settings were filled with real props, and the designs of Rolf Zehetbauer were carried out in real wood, brick, and steel. See more »

Goofs

The scene where Peter is in Karl Braun's flat and they are drinking beer at the table. Karl pours a beer for Peter which is a regular beer colour, he himself has a Dunkle [dark] beer in a tall glass. After the children have come and gone from saying goodnight, Karl's beer has changed to the same as Peter's and in a similar small glass. There is no sign anywhere of the beer in the tall glass. See more »

Quotes

Israeli General: [Opening scene, in Israel] Hannah, would you mind? What I am going to tell you is, of course, top secret. The Egyptians have rockets based at Helwan. The targets are Acre, Haifa, Tel Aviv-Jaffa. That would be the first strike. The second strike would straddle the whole country. The rockets will have special warheads. They will contain bubonic plague and strontium. If it succeeds, it will be the end of Israel. All they are waiting for is completion of a tele-guidance system, without which they ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

West German TV version was edited to remove the text at the beginning (which provides background information) and flashback scenes of Roschmann's atrocities in the KZ. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adelaide's Silver Screens (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Schwarzbraun ist die Haselnuss
("Black Brown is the hazelnut") (uncredited)
Tradtional
[Sung at the soldiers' reunion]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intriguing and tense movie full of suspense from the beginning to the end
31 August 2010 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Good and exciting film plenty of tension , action and entertainment . This intelligent picture is packed with historic events , tension , hectic intrigue and the suspense is maintained throughout . The deeds of the movie start in Hamburg, 1963 . An elderly Jewish commits suicide , leaving a newspaper that falls into the hands of an attractive and intrepid journalist named Peter Miller (John Voight). The German Peter goes to a Nazi convention celebrating the ¨Division Siegfried¨ where is detained. After that, he discovers a secret organization named Odessa that may expose some former Nazis and the unthinkable crimes of cruelty , torture and mass murder carried out by the captain of the SS Eduard Roschmann , commandant of the notorious extermination camp in Riga (Latvia). It seems that Roschmann (Maximiliam Schell) survived the defeat of the Nazis, and that lives in some place of South America under a fake identity . Miller starts then a relentless pursuit , decided to meet him . The journalist isn't alone, as he collaborates with the famous Nazis hunter Simon Wiesenthal ; in addition to receive precious aid by the Secret Service agents (Peter Jeffreys) of Israel , the Mossad , that try to avoid some rockets full of biological virus to be taken by Nasser , President of Egypt .

Excellent film based on one the first successes of famous novelist Frederick Forsyth , a bestselling author . This stirring picture is full of suspense , tension , thrills and is very entertaining . The film's intrigue snowballs toward an exciting final. Extraordinary casting , all of whom give admirable acting as starring Jon Voight ("Midnight Cowboy") who plays perfectly as dynamic journalist ; brilliant the British Derek Jacobi , the German Klaus Lowitsch , and of course the Maximilian Schell's interpretation who steals the show as haughty Nazi.

We see this sensational film not only by its action and intrigue but also by the historical deeds that are well depicted and related to Simon Wiesenthal and concentration camps as Riga and Flossenburg where was executed Admiral Canaris . Even only for that reason the film worthwhile seeing . Spectacular musical score fitting to action by nowadays very famous Andrew Lloyd Weber , including a lively and jolly Christmas song at the main and ending titles . Furthermore , colorful and atmospheric cinematography by classic cameraman Oswald Morris .

The motion picture is compellingly directed by Ronald Neame . Ronald's smoothly persuasive direction attracted reception by the public and was a success at the box office . Neame was one of Britain's best cameraman in the 1930s and 40s, working for David Lean, later he turned to direction in 1947 with 'Take my life'. His biggest hits was undoubtedly 'The Poseidon adventure' , 'Scrooge' , Gambit' , 'The prime of Miss Jean Brodie' , and 'Odessa file' . Rating: Splendid and excellent, above average .


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