The Prize (1963 film)
|Directed by||Mark Robson|
|Produced by||Pandro S. Berman|
|Screenplay by||Ernest Lehman|
|Based on||The Prize by
Edward G. Robinson
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Cinematography||William H. Daniels|
|Distributed by||Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)|
|Running time||134 minutes|
|Box office||est. 3 500 000 USD (US/ Canada)|
The Prize is a 1963 spy film starring Paul Newman, Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson. It was directed by Mark Robson, produced by Pandro S. Berman and adapted for the screen by Ernest Lehman from the novel of the same name by Irving Wallace. It also features an early score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith.
The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Andrew Craig (Paul Newman), who seems to be more interested in women and drinking than writing. When he arrives in Stockholm for the award ceremony, he is delighted to find that the Swedish Foreign Department has sent the beautiful Inger Lisa Andersson (Elke Sommer) as his personal chaperone. When Craig arrives at his hotel, he is introduced to another laureate, Dr. Max Stratman (Edward G. Robinson), a famous German-American physicist, who is accompanied by his niece Emily (Diane Baker).
When Craig meets Stratman for the second time, at a press conference, Stratman acts as if they had never met before and also displays a change in personality, despising photographs and being less talkative. Craig then, with no time to further talk to Dr. Stratman, has to give his interview, and in short succession admits to suffering from writer's block for years, having not even started his highly anticipated next novel, Return to Carthage, and having written pulp detective stories to pay the rent. He even suggests that he may have lost his talent. Asked for an example of developing a detective story, he suggests the possibility that Stratman may be an impostor.
The Nobel laureates for chemistry, Dr. Denise Marceau (Micheline Presle) and Dr. Claude Marceau (Gérard Oury), as well as his "private" secretary, Monique Souvir (Jacqueline Beer) are also staying at the hotel. So are Dr. Carlo Farelli (Sergio Fantoni) and Dr. John Garrett (Kevin McCarthy), the laureates for medicine.
As events progress toward the prize ceremony, Craig realizes that his offhand suggestion that Stratman is an impostor is actually the truth, and pursues the case. Unfortunately, his adversaries are able to stay one move ahead of him and cover their tracks, and due to Craig's reputation of heavy drinking and fiction writing, nobody believes him.
Two hours in, the main character is chased into a meeting for members of the nudist movement. On the first try to enter the congregation he is refused entry by two guards dressed in a towel. He undresses while being looked for by two agents outside and he then enters again, dressed only in a white towel, this time with success. In order to get the police to the place, he disrupts the meeting on purpose. When they arrive he has to dress, but the clothes are gone and he's driven to his hotel only in a towel.