TV Cream

Films: O is for...

Odessa File, The

Jon Voight gets involved with this week’s contingent of naughty Nazis as he tracks the secret ex-SS organisation headed by Maximillian ‘Black Hole’ Schell and dealing with Derek ‘Mr Pye’ Jacobi and Peter ‘Cut Off In My Prime’ Jeffrey along the way. Handy information on the relative values of various Iron Crosses contained herein, and just in time for your Christmas shopping, too.



  1. The Haj

    August 2, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    It was also the late Mary Tamm’s big break into film. The noblest Time Lady of them all.

  2. Clio

    August 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Nice stompy Perry Como Xmas theme. Jacobi plays a vile little nazi

  3. Glenn Aylett

    November 4, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    The theme tune was called Christmas Dream and was a regular on Perry Como Christmas specials in the seventies.
    Always considered The Odessa File to be a quality film with the chilling black and white scenes in the concentration camp, Jon Voight playing a very convincing German and Maximillian Schell as a shifty looking war criminal who tries to deny everything when cornered.

  4. Sidney Balmoral James

    November 4, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    There are some good individual scenes in this (the concentration camp flashback, the subway murder attempt, the bit at the printers), but overall, it doesn’t quite hang together. Some good pungent actors make a big difference however: Noel Willman, Gunter ‘Slugworth’ Meisner, Derek Jacobi. Odd to think of Jon Voight’s journey from earnest, liberal young actor, to Trump’s Hollywood cheerleader. Christmas Dream was written by Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Tim Rice, fact fans.

    • Glenn Aylett

      November 5, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      The Elbe Tunnel, or the old Elbe Tunnel as nearly all traffic uses an autobahn to cross the river, was an ideal choice for a kidnap scene in the film as it can be used by pedestrians and cars and when quiet, it would be impossible to escape from kidnappers. Also one of the few places in Hamburg that wasn’t obliterated during the war due to being under a river.

  5. Droogie

    December 2, 2020 at 10:45 pm

    Remember this being a bizarre pick for one of the BBC’s highlight movie tv debuts for their Christmas season sometime late 70’s/ early 80’s. I ‘d seen Jon Voight previously in Midnight Cowboy and Deliverance on telly and thinking what a fabulous actor he was. I do wonder if his method acting approach went too far when studying to be a boxer in The Champ and if too many hits to the head sparring in the ring made him become the right-wing loony and Trump apologist of today.

    • Richardpd

      December 2, 2020 at 11:28 pm

      John Voight’s daughter Angelina Jolie is almost a complete opposite politics wise.

      He was in the Bratz: The Movie for reasons best known to himself. I’ve not seen it but it’s apparently as bad as it sounds!

    • Glenn Aylett

      December 3, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      New Years Day 1980 on BBC1 and a good choice of film as people tend to want something more serious on New Year’s Day night than New Year’s Eve. Also over the 1979/80 festive period, BBC1 premiered Where Eagles Dare and Murder On The Orient Express, and this was probably the last of the truly great BBC Christmases, as ITV started to compete more in the eighties.

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