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The Odessa File [Import]

Jon Voight , Maximilian Schell , Oswald Morris , Ronald Neame    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 10.90 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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The Odessa File [Import] + The Night of the Generals + The Day of the Jackal (Widescreen)
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Product Description


An overeager German journalist (Jon Voight) discovers a long-buried secret plot beginning to resurface in this moderately compelling, surprisingly straightforward adaptation of a novel by conspiracy whiz Fredrick (Day of the Jackal) Forsythe. Although this somewhat pokey suspenser never quite flows the way a classic espionage thriller should, it does offer a number of compelling diversions along the way, including a blessedly nonhammy (and impressively accented) performance by Voight, Derek Jacobi's amusingly Freudian supporting turn, and a tremendously physical hand-to-hand confrontation in a print shop that leaves no pane of glass intact. Maximillian Schell's scenery-chewing, deliciously evil cameo almost makes this worth the watch by itself. Andrew Lloyd Webber composed the garishly florid (yet somehow effective) score. --Andrew Wright

Product Description

The year is 1963. The place: Hamburg, Germany. An elderly Jewish man commits suicide, leaving a diary which falls into the hands of a freelance newspaperman, Peter Miller (Jon Voight). The diary documents the unspeakable crimes of cruelty, torture and mass murder perpetrated by SS Captain Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell), commandant of the notorious wartime deathcamp at Riga, Latvia. Miller launches a personal manhunt to track down Roschmann, an investigation that leads him into the very heart of Odessa, a powerful secret organization formed by the SS to protect and re-establish its fugitive members throughout the world. When Miller finds Roschmann, he learns that the former Nazi is now the leader of a weaponry complex of international, strategic consequence.

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Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted suspense thriller June 16 2004
The year is 1963...as the world is reeling from the assassination of President Kennedy, Egypt has missiles posed to annihilate Israel. The only thing preventing this is the lack of guidance technology to properly target the missiles, which Egypt is on the verge of obtaining with assistance from a group of Germans, once officers within the SS during World War II, now members of a group called Odessa, a clandestine organization designed to assist ex-German military personal gain new identities and lives, thereby avoiding capture, after the end of the war.
The Odessa File (1974) takes the popular Frederick Forsyth novel of the same name, which is supposedly based on actual facts and events, and presents it as a truly wonderful, tense thriller that I really enjoyed. Directed by accomplished cinematographer and director Ronald Neame, the film stars Jon Voight as freelance German journalist Peter Miller and Maximilian Schell as an ex-German officer named Eduard Roschmann, a man responsible for horrible atrocities, earning him the nickname 'The Butcher', during his tenure as head of a concentration camp which housed Jewish prisoners. After the passing of an elderly Jewish survivor of a WWII concentration camp, Miller comes into possession of a diary kept by the man, one which detailed, in particular, the various crimes against humanity by Roschmann, and also seemed to indicate that the war criminal may still be alive. As Miller begins delving into the story, uncovering tidbits of information, he meets resistance in the form of various individuals, many of which turn out to be members of the secret Odessa organization, and are now actively working against Miller for fears that he may uncover their secrets.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as the book but pretty decent Oct. 27 2003
The book is better (it usually is) but the movie stays true to it and is a pretty decent one overall. Absolutely nothing fancy about it; no exotic sets and no dazzling special effects or stunts. This isn't an action movie, so there's not any real action sequences either. What it is is a suspense tale, a story of one man's quest for the truth. A nice blend of history and current events, which derives from the book the movie is based on; its author, Frederick Forsyth, is one of the best storytellers around. If you like the movie, you'll definitely enjoy his books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredible. May 8 2002
'The Odessa File' is one of those speculative fantasies for which Frederick Forsyth is famous, alternative scenarios inserted into history and tricked out with so much 'factual' detail as to seem convincing. Well, that's the idea anyway. This film makes much of its basis in fact and plausible hypothesis - it opens with a Forsyth-signed prologue averring the 'documentary research' behind the work; celebrated Nazi- hunter Simon Wiesenthal has a credit as consultant, and even has a cameo as himself (and, significantly, considering the talent on display, turns in the one natural performance of the film). Documents themselves play a vital role - the titular file is the Maguffin that records a major conspiracy; a diary found with the remains of a Jewish suicide prompts the film's action. The film's setting is precise and meaningful - the day and aftermath of JFK's assassination; the Israeli-Egyptian war. Experts are wheeled in within the film to explain to the hero (and us) the minutae of various crises.
All this counts for nothing. Jon Voight is a German journalist whose family has a Nazi past and who, after reading the diary of a Riga concentration camp survivor, decides to uncover the commandant long missing, presumed dead. His investigative progress is hampered by a supposedly democratic system (police, judiciary, big business etc.), that seems crammed with senior ex-Nazis.
Reasons for the film's failure are legion, but the fatal one is the sacrificing of the 'documentary' angle in favour of a bogus, typically Hollywood personal quest. For all its flaws, Fred Zinneman's 'The Day Of the Jackal' worked because of its distanced style and its refusal to 'psychologise' (sic?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Holds your attention April 18 2004
By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER
I am glad I did not read the book first as this film has to tell the story minus many of the sub plots. However there are enough left to keep you well off balance. If it is your first time through the movie some of the plots are evasive.
It is definitely a Forsyth story with a good mixture of fact, myth, and plausibility. Well it could happen. The film is permeated with rising action; in several places you have no time to catch your breath. You will find your self kibitzing as "Don't make that phone call!"
The story was best told with black and white flashbacks to explain what happened in history to support today's (1974) action.
Reporter, Peter Miller comes in possession of a diary of a man that survived Riga concentration camp. Something he reads encourages him to seek SS Captain Eduard Roschmann, the commandant of the camp, who was presumed dead. In his endeavor he is thwarted at every turn by the authorities. Finally one posing as a doctor confirms Roshmann's existence by his very insistent that Roschmann is dead.
In the beginning we hear of President Kennedy's death which triggers the end of innocents. This combined with the overlapping plot of the Egyptians to build missiles, overlays Peter's personal pursuit with that of a Jewish organization attempting to infiltrate the Odessa (Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen),an organization to reorganize and protect prominent people that where in the "National Socialist German Workers' Party".
Will Peter succeed with his mission (what ever it is) or will he be hindered by the Jewish organization? Will the organization succeed in thwarting the Egyptian missile plot or be hindered by Peter? Is SS Captain Roschmann still alive and if so what is he up to.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Nicolas Forwood
4.0 out of 5 stars The quality of the image was also very good.
Still very interesting after so many years. The quality of the image was also very good.
Published 2 months ago by Sylvia Somers
5.0 out of 5 stars Taking a stand!
This was a good story (true in many aspects) of one individual who stands against an evil system.

He made a difference because he as he said"cares" We must... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paul O'Neill
3.0 out of 5 stars Great
An old, but good movie that was purchased for my mother-in-law who enjoys old movies with great stories to watch.
Published 20 months ago by RisÚ
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your DVD library
I often fall asleep in my comfortable TV chair, I call it my "sleep chair." A lot of programs and even DVD's are good for insomnia! Read more
Published on March 1 2011 by Olivia
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC
Published on July 5 2009 by JOSEPH T.
3.0 out of 5 stars Detective story dressed up as thriller
This was the second of the two Frederick Forsyth classic thrillers set in recent history. Forsyth had a wonderful talent for setting taut detective stories in what-if scenarios. Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by Gavin Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved this...
I really enjoyed the book. And i was hoping that the movie would stay true to the book - and it did. Jon Voight has been perfectly cast. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie if you are interested in WWII theme
Those interested in World War II and political events that followed it will thoroughly enjoy this movie. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by Victoria T
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