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The Odessa File Blu-ray Review (1 Viewer)

Todd Erwin

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Todd Erwin

Jon Voigt stars in Ronald Neame’s 1974 film adaptation of Frederick Forsythe’s The Odessa File. Neame’s film is not your typical espionage thriller, and modern audiences may find it a bit dull. But the solid performances by Voigt, Derek Jacobi, and Maximilian Schell help to overcome the film’s weak points.



The Odessa File


Studio: Image Entertainment (licensed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
US BD Release Date: May 15, 2012
Original Theatrical Release Year: 1974
Rated: PG
Running Time: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (letterboxed)
Audio: English (PCM 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles: English (SDH), Spanish

Movie: 3.5 out of 5
Set in 1963 Hamburg, Germany, The Odessa File opens with freelance reporter Peter Miller (Jon Voight) coming into possession of a diary by a Holocaust survivor who recently committed suicide. After reading of all the atrocities carried out by SS Captain Eduard Roschmann (Maximilian Schell) on the Jews at Riga, he attempts to track down the war criminal, even though it may mean death to his girlfriend and even himself. During his investigation, he uncovers a secret organization called ODESSA, run by former SS members to help colleagues escape and obtain new identities. But Miller has a secret vendetta of his own, revealed in the film’s final moments.

The Odessa File is, by no means, a great film, but it does tell an interesting story of hunting down a war criminal and bringing him to justice. Voigt is surprisingly good as Peter Miller, with a rather convincing German accent. A German-British-American co-production, the film has a talented international cast, including Derek Jacobi as a young printer with an Oedipal complex, Mary Tamm as Miller’s girlfriend Sigi, Shmuel Rodensky as Simon Wiesenthal, and Maximilain Schell manages to chew the scenery as Eduard Roschmann. One of the film’s major downfalls, though, is its odd music score by Andrew Lloyd Weber. During many of the musical interludes, I half-expected the cast to break out in song and dance. And modern audiences may find the film’s pacing a tad slow compared to more current films in the same genre such as the Bourne series.

Video: 4.5 out of 5
Even when Sony licenses their films out to other distributors, it seems they always manage to deliver a top-notch transfer. The Odessa File is no exception. Detail is very good, with excellent contrast featuring deep blacks, and consistent colors throughout. Image presents the film in a 1080p/24 transfer using the AVC codec, preserving the film’s intended 2.35:1 aspect ratio.

Audio: 4 out of 5
The audio is presented in a nice, uncompressed PCM 2.0 mono soundtrack. Dialogue is clear and understandable, with increased fidelity and dynamic range that benefits the film’s score and sound effects.

Special Features: 0 out of 5
As with most titles licensed by Sony to Image, The Odessa File contains no special features, not even a trailer (which was included on the original DVD flipper release in 2000).

Overall: 4 out of 5
Sporting a solid audio and video transfer, The Odessa File on Blu-ray is a vast improvement and a worthy upgrade to owners of the previous 2000 DVD release, although it is missing the film’s theatrical trailer. Currently retailing at Amazon for $10.00 (as of press time), this one is a steal.

 

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