A Prize of Gold
|A Prize of Gold|
|Directed by||Mark Robson|
|Produced by||Phil C. Samuel
Albert R. Broccoli
|Written by||Robert Buckner
|Based on||A Prize of Gold
by Max Catto
|Music by||Malcolm Arnold|
|Edited by||William Lewthwaite|
|Distributed by||Columbia Studios|
|Budget||$1 million (est)|
A Prize of Gold is a British 1955 Warwick Films Technicolor heist film directed by Mark Robson partly filmed in West Berlin. The film stars Richard Widmark as a United States Air Force Air Police Master Sergeant motivated by love and compassion to begin a life of crime. It was based on the 1953 novel by Max Catto.
Maria is trying to raise enough money to move a group of German orphans to South America, where they can start life anew. Joe wants to help her, and with his buddies British Corps of Military Police Sergeant Roger Morris (George Cole) and ex-RAF pilot Brian Hammell (Nigel Patrick), Joe plans a daring robbery. A fortune in recently discovered gold bullion is being transferred to England from Germany via military transport, and the trio intend to hijack the plane.
While the robbery goes off almost as planned, the three participants begin to have second thoughts about what to do with their ill-gotten gains.
- Richard Widmark as Sergeant Joe Lawrence
- Mai Zetterling as Maria
- Nigel Patrick as Brian Hammell
- George Cole as Sergeant Roger Morris
- Donald Wolfit as Alfie Stratton
- Joseph Tomelty as Uncle Dan Watson
- Andrew Ray as Conrad
- Karel Stepanek as Dr. Zachmann
- Robert Ayres as Tex
- Eric Pohlmann as Fischer
- Olive Sloane as Mavis
- Alan Gifford as Major Bracken
- Ivan Craig as British Major
- Harry Towb as Benny
Joan Regan sings the title song.
Warwick bought film rights to the novel in April 1953 and originally announced they wanted Montgomery Clift for the lead. R.C. Sheriff was assigned the screenplay and Mark Robson, who had just made Hell Below Zero for Warwick, was to direct. Alan Ladd had made three films for Warwick and he was in discussions to play the lead as well.
The movie was part of a new three-picture deal Warwick signed with Columbia (the others being The Cockleshell Heroes and Safari.) John Paxton was brought in to rewrite Sheriff's script. In early 1954 Richard Widmark signed to star opposite Nigel Patrick.
Filming began in July 1954 and took place at Shepperton Studios and on location in Germany.
- Scheur, Philip (13 June 1954). "A Town Called Hollywood". Los Angeles Times.
- Pryor, Thomas (22 April 1953). ""WARWICK TO FILM 'THE PRIZE OF GOLD'.". New York Times. New York.
- "Producers Set Film Deal with Columbia". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. 29 Dec 1953.
- Schallert, Edwin (6 April 1954). "Noted Britisher Stars With Widmark". Los Angeles Times.
- "These Are the Facts", Kinematograph Weekly, 31 May 1956 p 14