The Prize (1963 film)

The Prize is a 1963 American spy film and romantic comedy 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 The Prize by Irving Wallace. It also features an early score by prolific composer Jerry Goldsmith.[3]

The Prize
The prize moviep.jpg
Directed byMark Robson
Screenplay byErnest Lehman
Based onThe Prize
by Irving Wallace
Produced byPandro S. Berman
StarringPaul Newman
Edward G. Robinson
Elke Sommer
CinematographyWilliam H. Daniels
Music byJerry Goldsmith
Distributed byMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 25, 1963 (1963-12-25) (USA)
  • February 13, 1964 (1964-02-13) (UK)
Running time
134 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box officeest. US$3,500,000 (US/Canada)[1]


The Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Andrew Craig, who is disrespectful of it, and seems more interested in women and drinking. Arriving in Stockholm for the award ceremony, he is delighted that the beautiful Inger Lisa Andersson has been assigned as his personal chaperone. At the hotel where all the winners are guests, Andrew is introduced to the physics laureate, Dr. Max Stratman, an elderly German-born American, who is accompanied by his niece Emily.

The Nobel laureates for medicine are Dr. John Garrett and Dr. Carlo Farelli. Garrett thinks Farelli must have stolen his work rather than reaching the same result through improvisation, and thus does not deserve half the prize. The chemistry winners are a married couple, Drs. Denise and Claude Marceau. Claude Marceau's mistress, Monique Souvir, is traveling with them and Denise feels neglected as a woman; later she asks Andrew to help by pretending to an affair.

That night, Max accepts an invitation to meet an old friend, Hans Eckhart, in a park. Eckhart asks him to publicly repudiate the U.S. and the prize, and defect to Communist East Germany. When Max refuses, he is kidnapped and an impostor takes his place. Emily is told that the imposter is Walter, the father she thought was dead, and that he will be killed if she does not play along.

The next day, Andrew is surprised when "Max" does not remember meeting him, and his manner also seems different. But there is no time to talk: Andrew has an interview scheduled. Depressed and angry at himself, he tells the press the truth: far from still being a great literary talent, he has not even been able to start writing the much-anticipated novel he has been "working on" for years. He has been drinking heavily and supporting himself by writing pulp detective stories, and is accepting the prize only because of the money. Asked for an example of developing a detective story, he suggests the possibility that Max may be an impostor.

Andrew is telephoned by an Oscar Lindblom, who offers information about Max. He goes to Lindblom's apartment and finds the man dying. He sees and chases the assassin, whose name is Daranyi, but is thrown into a canal. A cursory police investigation, with Inger and Andrew there, finds no evidence of crime; they assume he imagined it while drunk. But Lindblom's widow says he was a makeup artist: exactly what an impostor would have needed.

Emily and Andrew follow a lead to a hospital where Max is being held, but he is whisked away before they find him. Emily leaves Andrew there without a car. On foot, he is attacked again by Daranyi and flees to a nudist lecture where he must remove his clothes. He gets away by disturbing the meeting until the police are called. They again assume he is drunk and return him to his hotel wearing only a towel. He has no key, but Denise Marceau lets him into her room—where she makes sure Claude sees him, producing the desired effect on Claude.

Inger has now seen enough to realize Andrew was right and has been acting admirably, and begins falling in love as she joins in his investigation. But the next day, Andrew is told she is being held hostage. Following clues Inger helped with, Andrew sneaks on board a docked German freighter soon to depart for Leningrad. Lindblom's body is there, and Inger is locked in with Max. Andrew manages to break them out, but at the hotel, Max collapses from the strain. Drs. Garrett and Farelli diagnose cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation. Farelli earns Garrett's admiration by improvising a crude defibrillator. Max is revived and dressed just in time to receive his prize.

When the impostor leaves the auditorium, Daranyi kills him; dying, he admits he is not Walter either, but an actor. Andrew chases Daranyi to the roof; Daranyi again attempts to kill Andrew but is shot by police and falls to his death. Andrew returns just in time to accept his own prize—and Inger's love.


  • Paul Newman as Andrew Craig
  • Elke Sommer as Inger Lisa Andersson
  • Edward G. Robinson as Dr. Max Stratman / Prof. Walter Stratman
  • Diane Baker as Emily Stratman
  • Micheline Presle as Dr. Denise Marceau
  • Gérard Oury as Dr. Claude Marceau
  • Sergio Fantoni as Dr. Carlo Farelli
  • Kevin McCarthy as Dr. John Garrett
  • Leo G. Carroll as Count Bertil Jacobsson
  • Sacha Pitoëff as Daranyi, Dark Henchman
  • Jacqueline Beer as Monique Souvir, Dr. Claude's secretary
  • John Wengraf as Hans Eckhart
  • Don Dubbins as Ivar Cramer, Light Henchman
  • Virginia Christine as Mrs. Bergh, Chaperon
  • Rudolph Anders as Mr. Rolfe Bergh, Chaperon
  • Martine Bartlett as Saralee Garrett
  • Karl Swenson as Hilding (Welcome Basket)
  • John Qualen as Oscar (Welcome Basket)
  • Ned Wever as Clark Wilson, U.S. Ambassador
  • Larry Adare as Davis Garrett
  • Robin Adare as Amy Garrett
  • John Banner as German Correspondent
  • Sven Hugo Borg as Oscar Lindblom, Dead Make-up Artist
  • Peter Bourne as Swedish Man
  • Martin Brandt as Steen Ekberg (Airport)
  • Paul Busch as Deck Hand
  • Carol Byron as Stewardess
  • Carl Carlsson as Swedish Visitor
  • Albert Carrier as French Reporter
  • Jill Carson as Nudist
  • Jack Chefe as Reception Guest
  • Peter Coe as Officer
  • Sayre Dearing as Guest at Awards Ceremony
  • Noel Drayton as Constable Ströhm
  • Jerry Dunphy as American TV News Correspondent
  • Harold Dyrenforth as Swedish Officer (Nudist Meeting)
  • Sam Edwards as Reporter
  • Donald Ein as Waiter
  • Felda Ein as Swedish Woman
  • Britt Ekland as Nudist
  • Birgitta Engström as Young Woman
  • Edith Evanson as Mrs. Ahlquist (Speak English!)
  • Bjørn Foss as Swedish Man
  • Alice Frost as Mrs. Lindblom
  • Robert Garrett as Deck Hand
  • Gregory Gaye as Russian Reporter
  • Sam Harris as Guest at Award Ceremony
  • Erik Holland as Photographer
  • John Holland as Speaker
  • Fred Holliday as Swedish Officer (Nudist Meeting)
  • Stuart Holmes as Hotel Dining Room Guest
  • Mauritz Hugo as Swedish Speaker
  • Ike Ivarsen as Swedish Speaker
  • Colin Kenny as Guest at Awards Ceremony
  • Danny Klega as Deck Hand
  • Anna Lee as American Reporter
  • Queenie Leonard as Miss Fawley
  • Annalena Lund as Blonde at Nightclub
  • Margareta Lund as Swedish Woman
  • Lester Matthews as BBC News Correspondent
  • Grazia Narciso as Madame Farelli, Dr. Carlo's Mama
  • Ron Nyman as Burly Swede
  • Gregg Palmer as Swedish Commentator
  • Michael Panaieff as French Correspondent
  • Lars Passgård as Swedish Man
  • Svend Petersen as Swedish Bellboy
  • Pam Peterson as Nudist
  • Sigrid Petterson as Speaker at Nudist Meeting
  • Sid Raymond as Actor (Acting Walter)
  • Otto Reichow as Seaman
  • Gene Roth as Bjornefeldt, Translator
  • Carl Rydin as Burly Swede
  • Jeffrey Sayre as Reporter at Awards Announcement / Guest at Award Ceremony
  • Fred Scheiwiller as Deck Hand
  • Maria Schroeder as Nudist
  • Teru Shimada as Japanese Correspondent
  • Bert Stevens as Guest at Award Ceremony
  • Lyle Sudrow as Swedish Reporter
  • Margarto Sullivan as Nudist
  • Hal Taggart as Reporter
  • Maiken Thornberg as Nudist
  • Sigfrid Tor as Swedish Waiter
  • Arthur Tovey as Waiter at Reception
  • Ivan Triesault as Mr. Lindquist, Hotel Desk Porter
  • Raanhild Vidar as Swedish Bellboy
  • Karen von Unge as Hospital Receptionist
  • Ben Wright as British Reporter

See alsoEdit


  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.

External linksEdit