I’m big fan of Fredrick Forsythe thrillers. This is second screen adaptation of his novel; the first one was brilliantly made thriller ‘The Day of the Jackal’ by Fred Zinnemann. The strong point about Forsythe’s thrillers is that most of them are based on well documented research and study. It is so with the plot of Nazi war crime film too. There was really a secret society called ODESSA, linking former members of Hitler’s murderous SS, among them Roschmann, ‘the butcher’ of Riga concentration camp responsible of killing 40000 Jews. The top secret plan revolves around strike of 400 rockets to wipe Israel from the world map and most of the German scientists involved belong to Hitler’s Rocket Programme. For obvious reason, names of many characters and places have been changed to avoid controversy.
Peter Miller is just a reporter nosing for a story in Hamburg, Germany and somehow it was destined for him to put his life into peril by chance to involve with ODESSA.
Although having gripping best seller as script, the film version is too flat and lacks the punch of edge on the seat kind of thrill. It is so unlikely to see Jon Voight as hero of the film. There is negligible screen presence of Maximillian Schell who won Best Actor Oscar for ‘Judgment at Nuremberg’. The fault lies in flat narration and mediocre direction. I’m expecting fine thriller here but quite disappointed. Suggest you to read Forsythe’s novel than see this film.