The Odessa File - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Odessa File Reviews

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July 5, 2016
This is a great movie. It's based on Frederick Forsyth's novel The Odessa File. Jon Voight plays the lead role of Peter Miller who goes after and ex SS office The Butcher of Riga.
April 25, 2016
Thoughtful thriller with a great atmosphere. The first movie to highlight Nazi recreation of the jew atrocities with black & white footage, of course aped years later by Schindler's List.
July 20, 2014
Classic if slightly dated. Superb ending.
June 21, 2014
An intriguing story that suffers from some inconsistent performances and pacing issues.
½ August 23, 2013
This premise is that nazis from the ss that escaped trials had been given new identities and were part of the Odessa secret organisation that protected and worked to revive the third reich.

Voight, is a reporter who teams up with the Israeli government to find these Odessa men. It makes for some good action sequences and voight trying out his german accent that is a little weak, but passable. It was all filmed in Germany, and had some nice shots of hamburg.they went to Vienna, but I think it was all shot in Germany.
July 30, 2013
An oldie but a good one. Featuring a young John Voight. A superior novel made into a conventional but still suspenseful movie. A nice twist near the end is extra fun for those who perservere.
If you enjoy brevity, action, and suspense, you will enjoy this movie.
April 25, 2013
A bit slow at times but interesting.
April 25, 2013
A bit slow at times but interesting.
½ February 17, 2013
Flatline from beginning to end.
½ January 23, 2013
Exceptionally tedious so-called thriller that fails on almost every conceivable level. Andrew Lloyd Webber's score must rank as one of the worst to ever grace the big screen, sounding clunky and completely out of place whenever it invades the soundtrack, and should surely have tipped off anyone hearing it that he should never be allowed near a musical instrument again. The transitions between scenes are almost always far too abrupt and instead of granting the movie a swift pace they end up killing any sort of tension or interest the plot might develop. The decision to have some actors speak in German while the majority merely adopt accents is baffling and adds to the illogicalities of the film. Jon Voight is somehow able to move around without making any noise whatsoever, which enables him to outwit the world's most incompetent assassin and later to walk through a stone-floored castle completely undetected. The story also requires him to make a phone call at a crucial moment that no person with half a brain would ever try. In addition to the phony accents, many actors are outright bad and deliver their lines in a flat monotone that removes all emotion from their performances. Certain developments in the plot are not only incomprehensible but also utterly unrealistic, even allowing for the necessary implausibility inherent within most films of the thriller genre. Overall, a dire movie with very little to recommend it.
½ January 23, 2013
This nazi hunter movie keeps you involved and has all the ingredients for a great movie experience.
½ January 2, 2013
Though it is on the long side (does drag in areas) and could have been more original it is still well acted, deals with a deep subject very well, has a good score and a good ending.
October 7, 2012
Couldn't They Have Just Gotten an Older Guy?

Germany has a complicated relationship with the Holocaust. For obvious reasons, of course. But it is true that a whole generation of Germans pretty much wanted to sweep the whole thing under the rug and pretend it had never happened. This is in part because that generation is not sure how culpable it is, all things considered. Did they see? Did they know? If they didn't, should they have? How much responsibility do they bear for what happened? And, in the end, it's why Germany did not do all it could to go after those responsible, because more people were responsible than could ever have been punished. Of course, Germany also had its own troubles at the time. By the time the occupation was really over after World War II, most of those who had been responsible for what happened during the war were dead. Those few who were left were now so old that not everyone was comfortable with prosecuting them.

An old man, Salomon Tauber (Towje Kleiner), has gassed himself, leaving behind only a diary. It is brought to the attention of Peter Miller (Jon Voight), a young German reporter. The diary tells of the atrocities committed by Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell), the SS officer who ran the Riga concentration camp. Peter then meets the old man's friend, Marx (Martin Brandt), who tells him that Tauber believed he had seen Roschmann only weeks before, in Munich. Peter tries to go through legal methods to track down Roschmann, but he is rebuffed. He then goes to Austria to meet famous Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal (Shmuel Rodensky), who tells Peter about ODESSA--[i]Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen[/i], or the Organization of former SS Members--an organization intended to keep SS members from prosecution, generally with forged identities and smuggling them to countries where they won't be extradited. With that discovery, Peter gets in far deeper than he expected would ever happen.

There is no little debate as to whether or not ODESSA really existed. Wiesenthal insisted it did, various historians have said that it was never a single organization, and the US War Crimes Commission never denied that it existed. I lean toward the belief that a lot of men were making a lot of connections and a lot of plans. There were some who really wanted to raise a Fourth Reich, one of the declared goals of the supposed ODESSA, but I think a lot of them just wanted to disappear and evade prosecution. I doubt most of them thought they'd done anything wrong, but they knew that their view was a minority after the war. Some of the people, I'm sure, had just drifted into positions where their ordinary morality was subsumed under what was going on around them and what their orders were, but I think most of the ones who disappeared were sociopaths. I think you have to be in order to do that level of thing to other people and not see that there's something wrong with it.

I had a hard time getting into the story here. Okay, I get that the probably-Mossad guys need an Aryan to infiltrate ODESSA with, but was Jon Voight really the best choice for that? You kind of have to do a bit of math for this, but bear with me. When the movie was made, Voight was thirty-six. The movie was set in 1963 and 1964; it starts the day Kennedy was shot in Dallas. So if you assume that, at the beginning of the movie, the character and the actor were the same age, that means the character was born in 1927, meaning that he was twelve at the start of the war and eighteen when it ended. The SS member he disguises himself as is explicitly said to be ten years older than he, and that's a problem. However, it also means that Peter Miller would have definitely served in the tail end of the war himself, yet he's also implied to be too young to remember what the war was really like. This means they've cast someone pretty much exactly the wrong age.

Probably the weirdest part is the score, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber. And that's truthfully the only weird part, that it was composed by him, but once you know that, you can't stop comparing it to other works of his. At least, not if you know music. It's understated, by Andrew Lloyd Webber standards, but you can still hear certain musical tricks of which he is fond, and they just don't work here. Someone also decided that what the movie really needed was a Christmas song sung by Perry Como. So Andrew Lloyd Webber teamed up with Tim Rice and André Heller and provided us with one. Now, I am generally torn when it comes to his music; I like some of it and really dislike others. This isn't the worst of his music by a long shot. He wasn't quite as huge then as he has since become; this is after [i]Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat[/i] and [i]Jesus Christ Superstar[/i]--and a failed version of Jeeves and Wooster--but before [i]Evita[/i] and so forth. However, it's practically the only movie score he ever wrote, and I'm not sure why they hired him.
½ August 19, 2012
Somehow this old film has managed to elude me even though I keep an eye out for Frederick Forsyth adaptations. This is no Day of the Jackal, but there are a lot of similarities in its intrigue and complexity. Equally, there are a lot of classic cars, old UK actors popping up and a few plot parts I don't quite believe in either. For a film entirely set in Germany and Austria, surprisingly few people speak German in it. The German feel is conveyed fairly well without too many reminders of Allo Allo, but the seriousness does lapse a few times. The 'big twist' at the end felt rather obvious and the action wasn't wildly exciting either, so it's a solid and efficient 7/10 from me.
August 14, 2012
Taut, dry, engaging, and very, very German. In essence, this not-quite unbelievable political thriller is composed of Jon Voight's German accent, on-location German landscapes, and Frederick Forsyth's tangible, realistic Nazi conspiracy. A bit of a sleeper as far as action and pacing are concerned, but well worth watching on a rainy day, or when one is in the mood for some Cold War nostalgia
½ April 5, 2012
I remember the first time I watched this; It was interesting then as it is now. Voight is a journalist in Germany that covers a Jewish man's suicide on the same day that President Kennedy's killed; Reading a journal left by the man, he becomes intrigued by it and uncovers a undercover operation for former Nazis and is tagged to infiltrate it.
February 16, 2012
Good story that had a surprising ending. Maxmillian Schell was genius.
December 16, 2011
I'm not sure why this doesn't have a higher rating. It's an absolutely brilliant film. The only criticism that could possibly be leveled at this picture is that it takes a little too long to get going. We don't get any really serious action until the halfway mark, but at that point it kicks into high gear. The twist in the end is great. I can't say enough good about this film. Forsyth's meticulous research and attention to minute detail once again elevates this story from "just another spy flick" to serious conspiracy thriller. The first half is a bit of chore, but push through it and you'll be richly rewarded.
Super Reviewer
November 1, 2011
Frederick Forsyth's novel, The Odessa File, adaptation have a terrific work of the Ronald Neame, that make the audience, together with Jon Voight's character, Peter Miller, discover, all that involved. Tense, chilling, fun and extremely good writing. Fresh.
½ August 8, 2011
The Odessa File is an exciting film with plenty of tension, action, and entertainment. It is about a freelance journalist who searches for the Nazis after reading the diary of an elderly Jewish man who committed suicide. Jon Voight and Maximilian Schell give excellent performances. The screenplay is well written with tons of thrills. Ronald Neame did a great job of directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the drama. The Odessa File is a must see.
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