The Odessa File 1974 ***


Following up on the success of Frederick Forsyth adaptation The Day of The Jackal, Ronald Neame’s 1974 thriller opens with John Voight driving through the Christmas snows listening to Perry Como’s Christmas Dream. Having established journalist Peter Miller’s penchant for Andrew Lloyd Webber, the plot thickens as Miller is drawn into a conspiracy protecting former SS officer Eduard Roschmann (Maximillian Schell).  The 1963 setting is sparingly evoked, but the performances and excellent and the intent serious; the uncovering of WWII secrets is handled with commendable gravity, and Voight’s wide eyed-horror is palpable as he discovers his own complicity. Support from the glamorous Mary Tamm and an early film role for Derek Jacobi.


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