The Prize DVD

Posted by Itheliving 5 years, 11 months ago to Movies
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The Prize / Not rated but would be PG-13 for adult themes, violence, smoking, drinking and Paul Newman calling attention to his naked elbow.

Released on Christmas Day 1963, The Prize is one of my most lasting Xmas gifts. It is based on the popular novel by Irving Wallace who wrote long, steamy thrillers. The Prize is about a group of Nobel Prize winners getting together in Stockholm to receive their awards.

Nobel week takes place each year from December 3rd to December 10th culminating on the day Alfred Nobel died. The ceremony ends with a bang. Google his name to find out why. I point this out as the one problem with The Prize seems to be the unusually fine weather and long sunny days seen in the film. You just know that Stockholm in December would be cold, dark and icy.

The Prize stars Paul Newman as a hard drinking novelist, Edward G. Robinson in a double role as a physicist and Elke Somner as PN’s Embassy escort for the week. Written by Ernest Lehman the script and storyline bear a lot of similarities to another great film, North by Northwest (directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant). EL wrote the script for both films.

As the winners arrive in Stockholm, PN is immediately in the midst of intrigue as he spots an inconsistency with the EG Robinson character. This leaves Paul chasing all over Stockholm and chasing Elke S. with equal vigor. Everybody wants him to stop drinking, put on a happy face, accept his Prize and go home. He would, if it wasn’t for the fact that only he knows that something is amiss and he has limited time to set things right. Since he drinks about four Martini’s an hour this is not an easy task.

Directed by Canadian Mark Robson the film is a little long at 134 minutes but is so full of charm and fun that it would have been fine with me if it went on for 234 minutes. This movie also features an early score by Jerry Goldsmith. By the time the film completed it’s initial theatrical run, I couldn’t talk anyone else in my circle of High School friends to go see it with me, so I actually ended up going to the 99-E Drive-In Theater in Stockton, CA all alone to listen to the score one more time.

Other than an occasional TV showing this film has been unseen following a short term limited release on VHS tape in the 1990’s. Now,
it’s finally available on DVD on demand from Warner Bros. I highly recommend this film as it’s grandly entertaining and if I had access to this sort of media in early 1964 it would have kept me from going all alone to the drive in.

Rated 4.0 out of 4.0 reasons to go North by Northwest to find The Prize

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  • Posted by ISank 5 years, 11 months ago
    Big Mahalo's for the review, I jumped over to iTunes and they have a preview, looks good. Every year when I see on this day in history the remembering of the passing of Nobel, I recall his belief that the impact of his "explosive" invention would end all wars, something like who would want to go into battle knowing the whole battlefield could be blown up at once.
    But it does look like an enjoyable film and if I get bored, at least I'll be inspired to enjoy 4 martinis in an hour.

    Have fun!
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