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The Prize (1963 film)

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Title: The Prize (1963 film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Spy film, Paul Newman, 1963 in film, Edward G. Robinson, Leo G. Carroll, Jerry Goldsmith, Elke Sommer, Ernest Lehman, Kevin McCarthy (actor), Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Prize (1963 film)

The Prize
Directed by Mark Robson
Produced by Pandro S. Berman
Screenplay by Ernest Lehman
Based on The Prize by
Irving Wallace
Starring Paul Newman
Edward G. Robinson
Elke Sommer
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography William H. Daniels
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Release dates
  • 1963 (1963)
Running time 134 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office est. 3 500 000 USD (US/ Canada)[1]

The Prize is a 1963 spy film starring Paul Newman, Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson.[2] 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.[3]

Plot summary

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.

Nudist meeting

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.



  1. ^ "Big Rental Pictures of 1964", Variety, 6 January 1965 p 39. Please note this figure is rentals accruing to distributors not total gross.
  2. ^ Variety film review; December 4. 1963. page 8.
  3. ^ Clemmensen, Christian. Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004) tribute at Retrieved 2011-04-14.

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