the Odessa file
Director: ronald neame (the poseidon adventure)
Starring: jon voight, mary tamm, maximillian schell, and derek jacobi
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, a journalist in possession of the man's diary investigates the alleged sighting of a former S.S. Captain, who commanded a concentration camp during World War II.
It wasn't until The Odessa File came across my desk that I thought: I haven't seen Jon Voight in a movie for a while perhaps since the under appreciated National Treasure films. Its fantastic to see him back (if not from the pass) in a leading role. He is the beating heart of The Odessa File.
Following the suicide of an elderly Jewish man, investigative journalist Peter Miller sets out to hunt down an SS Captain and former concentration camp commander. In doing so he discovers that, despite allegations of war crimes, the former commander has become a man of importance in industry in post-war Germany, protected from prosecution by a powerful organisation of former SS members called Odessa.
One of the joys of old films is that as an audience member you get to step back into the past. The Odessa File allows us into a world that we in the West didn't really get to see: Germany during the 70's. Its a strangely familiar yet foreign world and another example of why film freakin' rocks.
The pace of The Odessa File is a little dated in that it doesn't move as fast as today's thrillers which could be a little jarring. That being said the final act of the film more than makes up for the slightly slow start. No spoilers but there is a terrific twist which more than fits the genre.
Jon Voight was made for the silver screen. He has charisma in spades; everything a leading Hollywood man needs. The supporting cast do an admirable job supporting him, but this is the Jon Voight show.
For a thriller the pace might be slightly dated but The Odessa File is a great little thriller lead brilliantly by the charismatic Jon Voight.