The Prize (1963)

Starring: PN, Edward G. Robinson, Elke Sommer, Anna Lee, Kevin McCarthy, Micheline Presle, Don Dubbins, Sergio Fantoni, Leo G. Carroll, Diane Baker, Virginia Christie, John Qualen

Directed by:Mark Robson

Summary: Set amid the award ceremony for the Nobel Prize PLN plays Andrew Craig, the winner for the prize in Literature. He is a hard drinking, womanizer who announces to the American press that his only use for the award is the $50,000 prize. When he lands in Stockholm, the award committee has appointed him Ingerlise (Elke Sommer) as a chaperone, to keep him from getting out of control. During the week before the ceremony, Andrew learns that one of the other winners has been kidnapped and that someone has taken his place. Of course, no one believes what Andrew knows, and even by the end, only a few people know the truth.

Quote: Andrew Craig (about to disembark a plane): "You mix a very civilized martini."
Stewardess: "Perhaps 1 too many for such a short flight?"
Craig: "Never deny a man his right to be unconscious."

Trivia: Swedes protested the film because they thought it denigrated the dignity of the prizes.

Rating: Critics slammed this one when it was first released (Leonard Maltin however later gave it 3 out of 4 stars...) Overall the film held most of my attention, and the ending is reasonably suspenseful. The script was adapted from Irving Wallace's novel by Ernest Lehman who also wrote North By Northwest. I agree with many of the critics who say that Newman has difficulty in playing comedic roles, in this one, he has a 50/50 chance- his scene with Diane Baker in the nightclub is very funny, but by the time we reach the scene where he interrupts a nudist seminar, he's struggling through the motions. Film Rating: 6, Paul Rating: 7

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