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Odette [VHS]


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Product details

  • Actors: Anna Neagle, Trevor Howard, Marius Goring, Peter Ustinov, Bernard Lee
  • Directors: Herbert Wilcox
  • Writers: Jerrard Tickell, Warren Chetham Strode
  • Producers: Herbert Wilcox
  • Language: English, French, German
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Lumiere
  • VHS Release Date: 23 Oct. 1995
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008T68R
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 328,446 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Set in 1942 at the height of the second war, this is the story of Odette Marie Celine Churchill who, after an appeal, sends her holiday photos of the French Coast to the War office. Due to her unique qualifications, she is sent to France as a secret agent, and to join the resistance.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Vanessa Wagstaff on 29 Jun. 2009
Format: DVD
There are very few SOE agent war films around. Odette is a classic story, even the book needs updating. The film was the earliest example of a harrowing tale of what it was like to be a female agent. It is an action film and I think it's only weakness is not showing enough training as in Carve Her Name with Pride. Nevertheless it's a good watch, rather moving and the lead actors are wonderful, especially the marvelous light touch of Peter Ustinov's 'Arnaud'. The DVD packaging design is poor but Nigel Perrin's brief biography of Odette inside, is an enlightening read for those who haven't read the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Williams on 24 Jan. 2012
Format: DVD
This is one of the classic films of the early post-war period. Anna Neagle gives a harrowing "no holds barred" performance in the title role. Through a simple mistake, Odette found herself recruited to SOE. Following a number of sorties into German occupied France, she was finally captured. Although tortured mercilessly, she refused to give the Germans any information regarding other agents. She eventually ended up in Ravensbruck concentration camp from where she was eventually liberated at the end of the war. For her immense bravery, Odette was awarded the George Cross.

It is said that this was Dame Anna Neagle's favourite of all the films she made. It is certainly mine.

This is a film which will be of interest to anyone studying (or with an interest in) the second world war. Although made in black and white, like so many of the time, this adds to the atmosphere of the whole film. However, this is certainly not a film for the feint hearted. For those who believe Anna Neagle films to be sugar coated, this will be a very pleasant surprise. If like me, you are an avid fan of Anna Neagle, then this is a real must.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is an extraordinary film about Odette and the SOE because it was filmed in the actual locations where events took place and included the participation of the head of SOE, Maurice Buckmaster. If you watch this film you will need to read more and find out the truth. Odette was unquestionably courageous but on reading her biography by Jerrard Tickell you have some idea of why she was married three times... why she left her three girls in a convent whilst she was in France... why Peter Churchill was one one level brilliant... but also acted very unwisely and caused the deaths of others... how she failed to act quickly enough on knowing she might be betrayed.

Reading the newer biography of Francis Cammaerts (A Pacifist at War: The Life of Francis Cammaerts: The Silence of Francis Cammaerts by Ray Jenkins) who took over from Odette and Peter Churchill and also reading "We Landed by Moonlight: Secret Raf Landings in France 1940-1944 by Hugh Verity, you gain a wider more balanced picture. The story of Francis Cammaerts is a must read... if only Odette had had him as her 'line manager'!

Odette was let down by many people and she should have been less trusting. Hers is a tragic life story and she was right to add a postscript to Jerrard Tickell's biography saying how we were likely to ignore the history of WWII and still believe we can gain peace through violence.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lou Windsor on 6 July 2006
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I received this picture (a used VHS tape) via Amazon recently having tried for decades to get hold of a copy. The print is not that good - somewhat faded - but to have this gem of a picture, about a truly remarkable heroine of WW2, in my collection is a privelege. The cast is superb, the acting absolutley first rate. I first saw the picture in 1951, as an 8 year-old, and it had a deep and lasting impact on me. My passionate interest in WW2 and an appreciation of the deeds of so many valiant women and men was kindled by this picture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy_atGC TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 May 2014
Format: DVD
Starrring Anna Neagle as the titular heroine in a film produced by her husband. The other major cast members are also important names of the British film industry.

Odette was born in France where she met and married a British man before coming to live in the UK, having three daughters. When the War Office issued an open request for any photographs or postcards of the French coast which may have proven useful for later operations she sent those she had not to the address required but to the War Office. She was later invited to an interview which led to her eventual recruitment to the SOE and to be later parachuted into France as a courier.

Captured by the Germans, tortured and sentenced to death, she was sent to a concentration camp but survived. One of her SOE colleagues was Peter Churchill and she sometimes claimed to be Mrs. Churchill which led the Germans to believe that she may have been related to Britain's then Prime Minister and it undoubtedly helped save her life. Post-war, she divorced her husband and married Peter Churchill, later also divorcing him and marrying another ex-SOE colleague who out-survived her. She was bemedalled by Britain and France in recognition of her work.

One of many British-made fact-based war-related movies, it was reasonably successful when released and was formerly infrequently shown on TV. Although some from the period may be rarely shown, this appears to have been ignored and has not been shown for many years. Another similar movie of the same period, 'Carve Her Name with Pride' tells the story of Violette Szabo, a fellow Anglo-French SOE agent who was one of several female agents simultaneously executed in Ravensbruck, possibly while Odette was a prisoner in the camp.

An excellent example of the genre, well worth seeing even if now looking dated. I had originally owned this as a Betamax tape.
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