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The Odessa File (film)

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Director  Ronald Neame
Adapted from  The Odessa File
Music director  Andrew Lloyd Webber
Language  English
7/10 IMDb

4.4/5 Amazon

Genre  Drama, Thriller
Featured song  Christmas Dream
Country  United Kingdom West Germany
The Odessa File (film) movie poster
Writer  Kenneth Ross, George Markstein
Release date  18 October 1974 (1974-10-18)
Based on  The Odessa File 1972 novel  by Frederick Forsyth
Cast  Jon Voight (Peter Miller), Maximilian Schell (Eduard Roschmann), Mary Tamm (Sigi), Derek Jacobi (Klaus Wenzer), Maria Schell (Frau Miller), Klaus Löwitsch (Gustav Mackensen)
Similar movies  Battleship Potemkin, Report to Mother, Wege Gottes

The odessa file o dossi de odessa 1974 trailer

The Odessa File is an Anglo-German 1974 espionage thriller film, adaptation of the novel The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth, about a reporter's investigation of a neo-Nazi political-industrial network in post-Second World War West Germany. The film stars Jon Voight, Maximilian Schell and Maria Schell and was directed by Ronald Neame, with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was the only film which the Schell siblings made together.


The Odessa File (film) movie scenes

The odessa file 1974 teatrical trailer


The Odessa File (film) movie scenes

On 22 November 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Peter Miller (Jon Voight), a young freelance reporter, pulls over to the curb to listen to a radio report of the event in a district in Hamburg, West Germany. As a result, he happens to be stopped at a traffic signal as an ambulance passes by on a highway.

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He follows the ambulance and discovers it is en route to pick up the body of an elderly Jewish Holocaust survivor who had committed suicide, leaving behind no family. The reporter obtains the diary of the man, which contains information on his life in the Second World War Riga Ghetto, and the name of the SS officer who ran the camp, Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell).

Determined to hunt Roschmann down, Miller consults with Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal (Shmuel Rodensky) who informs him about ODESSA, a secret organisation of SS veterans. With this information, Miller then dares to go undercover, using an assumed name and forged papers showing him as an SS veteran. He joins and infiltrates the ODESSA and finds Roschmann, who now runs a high-tech company which plans to send radio gyroscopes and biochemical warheads to Egypt to use against Israel. Miller eventually finds Roschmann and confronts him at gunpoint.

ODESSA is an acronym for the German phrase "Organisation der Ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen", which translates as "Organisation of Former Members of the SS".

The film's title song, "Christmas Dream", is sung by Perry Como and the London Boy Singers.


  • Jon Voight as Peter Miller
  • Maximilian Schell as Eduard Roschmann
  • Maria Schell as Frau Miller
  • Mary Tamm as Sigi
  • Derek Jacobi as Klaus Wenzer
  • Peter Jeffrey as David Porath
  • Klaus Löwitsch as Gustav Mackensen
  • Kurt Meisel as Alfred Oster
  • Günter Meisner as General Greifer
  • Hannes Messemer as General Richard Glücks
  • Garfield Morgan as Israeli Defence Force General
  • Shmuel Rodensky as Simon Wiesenthal
  • Ernst Schröder as Werner Deilman
  • Günter Strack as Kunik
  • Noel Willman as Franz Bayer
  • Martin Brandt as Marx
  • Production

    Filming was done on location in Hamburg, Germany; Salzburg, Austria; Heidelberg, Germany; Munich, Germany; at Pinewood Studios, England; and the Bavaria Filmstudios in Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany. It was filmed with Panavision equipment, produced with Eastmancolor technologies.


    Nora Sayre of the New York Times said, "The film makes its points methodically, almost academically. It also drags because there are many unnecessary transitional passages, devoted to moving the characters from one situation to another. Almost every occurrence is predictable."

    Groggy Dundee in Nothing is Written praised the actors, "Jon Voight does well, making Miller a credible and compelling protagonist. Maximilian Schell is excellent in what amounts to an extended cameo." However, he criticises the filmmakers for simplifying Forsyth's novel and dulling its anti-Nazi message.


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