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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 ... 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:

From the smash suspense novel of the year. 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

This is the only movie in which siblings Maximilian Schell (Eduard Roschmann) and Maria Schell (Frau Miller) appeared. See more »

Goofs

So, what's with the watch? Peter Miller (Voight) at least twice when talking to the head of the Israeli intel team (Peter Jeffrey) asks about his watch: "I want my watch..." But the significance of that watch is never addressed - was something left on the cutting room floor? See more »

Quotes

Peter Miller: [Peter Miller's first lines; he pulls to the curb after hearing about the assassination of John F. Kennedy on the radio] Events that can change history sometimes hang on tiny chances. If I hadn't pulled to the curb, I wouldn't have caught the traffic light, nor seen the ambulance, never have heard of Salomon Tauber or Eduard Roschmann. Nor got involved with the agents of Israel, or with the sinister and deadly men behind the Odessa. That night I was just a reporter with a nose for a possible ...
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 »


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

 
remarkable in many ways, including historical facts
28 January 2011 | by cmeneken-1See all my reviews

This film is remarkable on many levels, but two stand out: 1) the realistic portrayal of the events in Riga, wherein thousands of Jews were massacred by the Nazis, and 2) the fact that the "butcher" of these events in the film was not a fictional ploy but an actual SS officer named, as in the film, Rosschmann. The latter point is of interest, since the film provoked a world wide hunt for this murderer, who was located in South America, and who then fled to Paraguay where he died in 1977. The first part of the film is near perfect, though it gets more melodramatic in the latter part, with a number of unconvincing dramatic events added. One example: the journalist(Voight)attacking the burly professional hit man sent to kill him, and then actually winning a hand to hand struggle with him.


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