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Thread: The Odessa File

  1. #21
    Senior Member Country: Scotland
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    One of my favourite all-time films. I can sit and watch it again and again and never get tired.
    Only surpassed re Forsyth adaptations by The Day of the Jackal.

    Any film that can make Perry Como seem sinister is a work of genius, lol.

  2. #22
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    Now, will someone say kaddish for me?....

  3. #23
    Senior Member Country: England phil's Avatar
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    KADDISH.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Country: England mrs_emma_peel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ayrshireman View Post
    One of my favourite all-time films. I can sit and watch it again and again and never get tired.
    Only surpassed re Forsyth adaptations by The Day of the Jackal.

    Any film that can make Perry Como seem sinister is a work of genius, lol.
    I agree - its a superb adaptation of Frederick Forsyth's fine novel - only surpassed IMO by his classic The Day of the Jackal. Jon Voight's understated performance and slight German accent is perfectly judged, Maximillian Schell is excellent as Eduard Roschmann - The Butcher of Riga and the lovely late Mary Tamm is splendid as Peter Miller's beautifully voluptuous girlfriend Sigi.
    Wonderful theme ...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L1UDdOh-YU
    Last edited by mrs_emma_peel; 29-09-12 at 06:02 AM.

  5. #25
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    Last edited by Steve Crook; 29-09-12 at 03:15 PM. Reason: Embed video

  6. #26
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    It's an excellent film and I agree with several contributors bettered in the genre only by Day of the Jackal. Maximilian Schell is a particular favourite of mine, also great in Return From The Ashes, a forgotten gem, alongside Herbert Lom.

  7. #27
    Senior Member Country: UK eyeloveTV's Avatar
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    One of the best films ever made. Voight brilliant, Mary Tamm beautiful. Fantastic story with the ultimate 'twist' ending. I've tried to encourage many people to watch it over the years, but merely received puzzling looks from faces with uneasy expressions. I watch it once a year every year. Unbeatable. You have to have a certain intellect.

    eyeloveTV

  8. #28
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    Got to say this is one of my favourites. Not the biggest fan of Voight but he is good in this, and Schell is superb.

  9. #29
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    For me good films? Yes. Great films? Not quite. Why? Because I really enjoyed the books. The books have detail (I think you could invade a small island yourself after reading The Dogs Of War) and even though the films are long they are not long enough for me. That's not to say that the scripts aren't good adaptations, as they are, but I think they could be bettered in TV mini series form. There is a great deal more good character material and detail in Forsyth books to have fun with in a longer format.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toscana View Post
    For me good films? Yes. Great films? Not quite. Why? Because I really enjoyed the books. The books have detail (I think you could invade a small island yourself after reading The Dogs Of War) and even though the films are long they are not long enough for me. That's not to say that the scripts aren't good adaptations, as they are, but I think they could be bettered in TV mini series form. There is a great deal more good character material and detail in Forsyth books to have fun with in a longer format.
    I think the same could apply to any film adaptation of a book: two hours is not long enough to do justice to the details and plot complexities of many novels. It is to (most) scriptwriters' credit that they are able to do justice to a novel with only 90-120 minutes screen-time.

    Sadly it is rare to find longer adaptations (eg as a TV mini-series) of a novel these days. I remember the 13-part adaptation of Brideshead Revisited, the 26-part adaptation of Arnold Bennett's Clayhanger novels, and the long adaptations of RF Delderfield's To Serve the All My Days A Horseman Riding By and other similar series that I used to enjoy in the 1970s. There are novels such as Robert Goddard's In Pale Batalions which would merit a similar treatment but I fear that people's attention spans are too short these days and so the long treatment has gone out of fashion.

    I agree with everyone else: The Day of the Jackal and The Odessa File are two excellent films of equally excellent novels.

  11. #31
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinU View Post
    ... but I fear that people's attention spans are too short these days and so the long treatment has gone out of fashion.
    There's an assumption that people have shorter attention spans these days, but there's no proof to support the assumption. People have no trouble with films that are 2 of more hours long, long series of novels or films made from them (Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) or long TV series (Downton Abbey etc), all of which get substantial audiences

    Steve

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Crook View Post
    There's an assumption that people have shorter attention spans these days, but there's no proof to support the assumption. People have no trouble with films that are 2 of more hours long, long series of novels or films made from them (Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings) or long TV series (Downton Abbey etc), all of which get substantial audiences

    Steve
    My wife will happily watch a long film (though if we watch it on DVD we often split it over two nights) but she complains that a similar length episode of Inspector Morse etc is too long - as if it makes a difference whether it's made for cinema or for TV.

    But you make a valid point: is it that audiences don't want a long treatment of a saga-type story spread over multiple parts or is it that programme commissioners think that this is what the audience don't want. Either way, you rarely get the 1970s 6-, 13- or 26-part series which takes one story and gives it the detailed treatment, as opposed to a series of self-contained stories that each feature the same main characters.

  13. #33
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinU View Post
    But you make a valid point: is it that audiences don't want a long treatment of a saga-type story spread over multiple parts or is it that programme commissioners think that this is what the audience don't want. Either way, you rarely get the 1970s 6-, 13- or 26-part series which takes one story and gives it the detailed treatment, as opposed to a series of self-contained stories that each feature the same main characters.
    That's one of the many things that made The Wire such a great series. Most "seasons" were 12 or 13 episodes of one hour episodes, but it was a continuous story. It was plot led drama rather than character led drama. It also has quite long sequences where nothing very dramatic happens. That's a very popular series and is often held up as an example of how a good TV series should be made & written - but they rarely are.

    I blame the programme commissioners, and many programme and film makers who do seem to have got this idea into their heads that people have a shorter attention span - without any proof, and lots of proof to the contrary

    Steve

  14. #34
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    Steve - I would make the same point with Breaking Bad, etc - people will watch a long complex story arc, with intelligent and challenging scripts, so the idea that we have a small attention span is a myth. I suspect that original drama has more going for it that one made from a book - internal monologues are very difficult to pull off, and a lot of books spend much of the time describing characters in a way which TV/film drama does not - we tend to see it through their words and deeds instead. Although series such as The Wire, Homicide, etc do have a driving plot, they are also full of interesting and nuanced characters.

    The other reason for the relative absence of literary adapations is the fact that if it goes well, you can always make another series....

  15. #35
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    I don't think it has anything to do with attention spans. Before we had all the stations we do now it used to take ITV or BBC 13 or 26 weeks to show a series. Now they show an episode a day or even a whole series in one night. If you have the latest gear you can stock pile shows, use catch up or even buy the box set on DVD. It's just progress.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by bertie View Post
    To some extent, I suppose, the Odessa File is outshone by the first Frederick Forsyth film, The Day of the Jackal. But they are, to my mind, both super movies and excellent adaptations of the novels. Later films from the books of this author did not really live up to the first two. The Fourth Protocol is not bad but The Dogs of War did not really do it for me, either as a book or a film.
    The Dogs Of War is the only one of his books I never really enjoyed. Other than that,he is top class.
    Ta Ta
    Marky B

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