The Odessa File (Thriller) Jon Voight Mary Tamm Maximilian Schell Derek Jacobi 1974
The Odessa File is an 1974 thriller film, adapted from the 1972 novel of the same name by Frederick Forsyth, about a reporter's investigation of a neo-Nazi political-industrial network in post-Second World War West Germany. The film stars Jon Voight, Mary Tamm, Maximilian Schell and Maria Schell and was directed by Ronald Neame, with a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
On 22 November 1963, the day of the John F. Kennedy assassination in Dallas, Peter Miller (Jon Voight), a young freelance reporter in Hamburg, West Germany, pulls his car over to the kerb to listen to a radio report of the event. As a result, he happens to be stopped at a traffic signal as an ambulance passes by on a highway.
He follows the ambulance and discovers it is en route to pick up the body of an elderly man who has committed suicide, leaving behind no family. Peter obtains the diary and learns the man was Salomon Tauber (Towje Kleiner), a Jewish Holocaust survivor. Salomon's diary details information on his life in the Riga Ghetto during World War II, including the name of the SS officer who ran the camp, Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell). Salomon's diary catalogues all of Roschmann's crimes including the murder of a highly decorated Wehrmacht officer (Oskar Werner) while attempting to flee at the end of the war.
Peter is filled with a determination to hunt Roschmann down and he sets out to meet famed Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who informs him about ODESSA, a secret organization for former members of the SS which is developing a missile guidance system for Nasserist Egypt. Simon explains that most of the West Berlin Police are members of ODESSA and not to be trusted. As Peter leaves he is accosted by Israeli Mossad agents who suspect Peter of trying to harm Wiesenthal. Peter manages to convince the men that his true mission is to find and bring Roschmann to justice. The Israelis propose to send Peter deep undercover in the ODESSA. Peter agrees to the mission and with the help of the Israelis, they provide him with a cover identity. Peter is to be a former SS soldier who died recently in a nearby hospital. Before going under cover, Peter then leaves his girlfriend Sigi (Mary Tamm).
The Israelis drill Peter on all details of his cover identity in preparation of meeting with ODESSA. Complete with a new cover identity, Peter gains access to the inner ranks of the ODESSA. After getting through his first test he is sent to get a fake passport from a forger who is working for ODESSA. While awaiting his train, Peter blunders by making a call to Sigi to assure her that he is OK. Thinking he is safe, he boards the train. Meanwhile, the ODESSA report back that Peter has made a call and they work out that Peter is not who he says he is. An assassin is dispatched to kill him. Peter meets with the forger Klaus Wenzer (Derek Jacobi) a shy insecure young man living with his mother. After taking passport photos, Klaus tells Peter to return after the weekend, but then calls him after midnight and tells him to return within the hour.
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