Monday, January 17, 2011

John Voigt in The Odessa File 1974

German journalist Peter Miller (John Voigt) has become obsessed with a tightly knit group of surviving Nazi leaders whose names have been collected in something called The Odessa File. He pursues them with undying zeal at considerable personal peril and in the face of disapproval and apathy from his superiors and even his own mother who was victimized by Nazis as a young woman. His all consuming obsession in the face of the cold war German desire to just let sleeping dogs lie is perplexing to all who encounter him, but he has a very personal reason for discovering the truth. The Odessa File is based on a novel by Fredrick Forsyth and is a taut, political style thriller that has a great pay off at the end. I've both seen the film and read the book, and while the book is better (as they usually are), the film holds up its end of the bargain.

This film has been available on DVD for quite some time. It was released in 2000. It's one of those films that has cruised along under the radar, rarely seen on TV but is worthy of a look. The trailer is above, uploaded by arriegua1.

Obscurity factor: 6 (largely forgotten, available on DVD, rarely screened on television)


  1. Oh, Ben, I adore this one. From the first seconds I'm hooked (with that horrid Perry Como polka Christmas carol too). And Maximilian AND Maria Schell! Now, if you are ready to dig deep in the genre of "Seventies Jewish Revenge Fantasy" (much deeper that Odessa / Boys Brazil / Marathon Man), I dimly remember a fantastic TV movie with Brini Maxwell wannabe Lee Remick. It was called Of Pure Blood, and Lee Remick was one of the notorious "Lebensborn" children. She also was an advertising exec, and there was a scene I will never forget: she auditions little kids for some TV commercial and she picks the kids she wants: "this one, this one, this one..." And then she realizes she's like some Mengele in her own way, so she breaks down and hugs all the little kids who are completely confused. That was SUCH a great scene for Lee Remick.

    This is the trailer, which really doesn't do it justice.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on that, Oliver. I'll have to look for it. It looks good!