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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 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 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 "ODESSA", as well as with the Israeli secret service. Miller probes deeper and eventually discovers a link between the S.S. Captain, "ODESSA", and his own family. Written by Anthony Hughes <husnock31@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A gripping puzzle of pursuit and escape 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

Final cinema movie music score (to date, March 2018) composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was only Webber's second for a theatrical feature film after Gumshoe (1971). See more »

Goofs

Peter Miller infiltrates the Odessa organization by claiming to have been a member of the firing squad which executed Admiral Canaris at Flossenburg concentration camp in April 1945. Canaris was hanged on the gallows rather than shot for his role in the attempted coup against Hitler in July 1944. Franz Bayer who interviewed Miller and accepted his story would have known this and therefore deduced he was an imposter and didn't serve at Flossenburg as an SS guard. See more »

Quotes

Peter Miller: Do you remember a man with the name of Tauber?
Eduard Roschmann: Who?
Peter Miller: Salomon Tauber. He was German and Jewish. One of your prisoners at Riga. Try to think, Roschmann.
Eduard Roschmann: I can't remember all the prisoners' names.
Peter Miller: He died in Hamburg last November. He gassed himself. Are you listening?
Eduard Roschmann: If I must.
Peter Miller: Yes, you must.
Eduard Roschmann: All right, I'm listening.
Peter Miller: He left behind a diary.
Eduard Roschmann: Is that why you came? Because of the diary of some old Jew? A dead man's diary is no evidence.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Passions of Carol (1975) 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

 
Terrific story and cast - a classic
5 November 2012 | by phd_travelSee all my reviews

This thriller should go down as a classic. It has a convincing story a rare thing in movies that try to blend historical fact and fiction. It's tense from beginning to end and doesn't have annoying red herrings or plot twists.

The casting is perfect. Maximillian Schell is ideal as the Nazi war criminal. Jon Voight is surprisingly convincing as a German accent and all. Good use of European supporting cast to avoid a fake feel.

Good on location feel to it. Liked the evocative score too.

It's one of the best thrillers about WWII subject matter even though it is set after the war.


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