The Prize - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Prize Reviews

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January 31, 2016
A unique suspenseful thriller that you won't forget!
½ August 19, 2014
strange kinda movie doesn't work though
½ July 14, 2014
With a stronger director, rather than director Mark Robson who's best know for "Earthquake," "Von Ryan's Express" and "Valley of the Dolls," this film really had the potential to be a classic. It's a snappy and humorous espionage story, about Pulitzer Prize winning author, Paul Newman, showing up to collect his prize, but getting caught up in international intrigue. The film was written by Ernest Lehman, who just four years before wrote the classic and very similar "North by Northwest". In terms of script and story, this film is equal "North by Northwest, but in execution, it's far more average. However, there is an above average cast that includes not just Newman, but also Edward G. Robinson, Elke Sommer, Kevin McCarthy, Leo G. Carroll, and uncredited roles for John "Sgt. Schultz" Banner as a German Correspondent and Britt Ekland as a Nudist. This film also has an early score by Jerry Goldsmith. Newman and Sommers are a great onscreen couple and I think they may have made something like "Torn Curtain" a stronger film, but this film was really in need of a stronger director like Hitch or Stanley Donen.
½ May 9, 2014
You'd look great in a burlap bag.

A group of Nobel Prize contestants arrive in town together to receive their award. A series of shenanigans breaks out in town with everyone experiencing something unique. Will the contestants receive their award and what type of trouble will the contestants get themselves in?

"There are some things that should only be done in private."

Mark Robson, director of Von Ryan's Express, Earthquake, Peyton's Place, Valley of the Dolls, Trial, From the Terrace, Bedlam, and Isle of the Dead, delivers The Prize. The storyline for this picture is fairly mediocre. The acting is first rate as the cast includes Paul Newman, Edward Robinson, Elke Sommer, Diane Baker, Micheline Presle, and Leo Carroll.

"I find honesty irresistible in a man."
"Stick around."

I grabbed this off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) because it starred the infamous Paul Newman. I enjoyed his performance but the storyline was boring, and a bit all over the place. Overall, this is a very average movie that isn't a must see. I'd likely skip this Newman picture.

"Can you imagine putting my old body in this beautiful thing?"

Grade: C
June 29, 2012
Not the most believable of political thrillers, but the Mad Men styling and Stockholm scenery made it an enjoyable enough film.
½ January 21, 2012
If anyone wonders why Alfred Hitchcock cast Paul Newman in Torn Curtain although he had certain reserves when it came to method actors, they need to look no further then 1963 Mark Robson film The Prize. It doesn't try to hide its Hitchcockian nature at any time. Written by Ernest Lehman, the same guy who wrote Hitchcock's North by Northwest (it borrows heavily from that film in particular), it is only a sporadically entertaining homage to the master.

An international spy thriller, it offers us a gaze into an intriguing, though probably highly unrealistic, life of the Nobel Prize winners. The place is Stockholm, where the winners have just been announced. Among them is a rebellious American writer Andrew Craig (Paul Newman), looking like Scott Fitzgerald without Zelda or any noticeable depth or writer's aura. There is also a winner for physics Dr Max Stratman (Edward G. Robinson). Soon, Craig starts having doubts about Stratman's real identity, quickly becoming that famous ordinary man in unordinary circumstances.

This is a great example why the change in the late sixties had to come. Earlier in that decade, in the time this film was released, Hollywood had become too boring, recycling old ideas and the work of the old masters just for the sake of entertainment (sounds familiar, doesn't it?). There are few interesting elements here, which is only natural if you look at the participants. Lehman had the ability of writing smooth characters and luck to have them played by guys like Bogart, Grant or Newman. It was nice to see the later brining his naturalistic style to a Cary Grant role, as well as his showdown with the old school legend Robinson (the picture was in desperate need for more the scenes of them together).

However, this is far from enough. The picture overstays its welcome for at least 20 minutes, mostly because of a pretty slow start. The filmmakers, surprisingly, weren't able to use the extensive length to elevate the political stuff above the level of a sketch. It remained in the sphere of mere obligatory warning against the still existing dangers of Nazism. And Robson never really managed to turn the cheesiness of the love scenes into an advantage. That part also suffers terribly in comparison to Hitchcock.

So, if you are not a great Paul Newman fan, feel free to skip this one. Watch North by Northwest again instead, or run and get it if you haven't seen it yet.
September 2, 2011
Paul Newman. Need I say more!?!
July 26, 2011
would like to see it just for the nnw references and the slew of hitch regulars featured therein......
½ July 7, 2011
My feelings about ‚The Prize‚? are rather mixed: on the one hand, it‚(TM)s an entertaining-enough spy thriller about a controversial American Nobel Prize winner (Andrew Craig, played by Paul Newman) in a setting clearly recognizable as ‚Cold War‚? (if you say ‚spy‚? and ‚sixties‚?, you can hardly end up in any other department than that of the Cold War). The spy part of the plot is not unclever: the main character (a literary writer who supported himself temporarily by writing detective stories) stumbles upon a swapped-professors mystery and decides to investigate the matter personally, no doubt triggered by his interest in detective plots. He will get a hard time (especially when he gets close to the truth), but we don‚(TM)t really feel sorry for him, for he is an obnoxious character that deserves to be taught a lesson. But since he is not REALLY disagreeable, we are eager to see how far he gets and if he will succeed in the end. In short, the result of our mixed empathies towards him is simply entertainment. The only flaw in this whole scenario is the reason why the kidnappers decided to operate the way they did, by swapping Prof. Stratman (Edward G. Robinson) during the Nobel Prize ceremony period rather than at any other randomly-chosen moment (because then, we‚(TM)d have no movie, no doubt). The downsides of this movie are its long duration (over two hours) and, in connection with that, the excess number of silly scenes that are not always so very funny (quarrelling servants, flirtatious French lady with bad marriage, disputing medical doctors who kiss and make up in the end, saving someone‚(TM)s life in the process). This tends to give ‚The Prize‚? too much of a family-movie atmosphere rather than a serious spy-movie atmosphere. Fortunately, some of the funny scenes are really funny after all (Newman‚(TM)s witty remarks at the nudist conference and his cynical remarks about the Nobel Prize, which may not be so far beside the truth).
August 15, 2010
If you liked "North By Northwest," which debuted four years earlier, you'll like this film - because you can hardly tell the difference!

"The Prize" is an intentional replica/homage of NBN and similar Hitch content such as "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and "To Catch a Thief" (and foreshadows "Torn Curtain"), with Paul Newman reprising the dry-wit of Cary Grant.

In fact the NBN 'art auction disruption' scene is shamelessly copy-catted, but here set inside a nudist convention meeting for additional chuckles. In it, Newman, who's allowed to hide himself inside a sauna-towel, even parrots the very same payoff line to the police: "But EYE called YOU!"

Newman's the innocent victim caught up in a murder mystery (at the Nobel Prize ceremonies) that's really none of his business. The nudist scene allows Newman to end up naked in the hotel room of semi-icy blonde love interest Elke Sommer - just as Grant did in Eva Marie Saint's room in NBN.

The screenplay comes from Ernest Lehman, who - guess what - whipped up the NBN screenplay. Another NBN parallel is the appearance of the ever-grousing Leo G. Carroll. Another Hitch vet, Diane Baker (Sean Connery's sister in "Marnie") holds a key, though more sinister, role. Even the soundtrack contains certain phrasing almost exactly duplicating that of NBN. Camerawork/costuming also extremely reminiscent.

Sorry, but this film, nearly forgotten by both Hitch and Newman fans, never DVD-released. I soaked it up courtesy of TCM; you may have to fetch the VHS issue.

TRIVIA: the basic plotline of this film was used as the framework for the 1991 Leslie Nielsen comedy/satire "Naked Gun 2 1/2."

RECOMMENDATION: OK, it's not as good as NBN, but still quite excellent knock-off entertainment. Catch it if you can.
March 27, 2010
remarkable how this thriller is loaded with funny one liners, mainly by Paul newman and absurd events but still keeps the suspense of whats going on. An original story, good old cast and a special combo of comedy and thriller with some romance. good!
March 22, 2010
Buena pelicula, entretenida, tiene de todo y el elenco lo hace genial. Mezcla suspenso y comedia, y no olvidar los romances de Paul Newman con las damas que lo rodean.
Pero me quedo con "North By Northwest" de Alfred Hitchcock, cuyo guionista Ernest Lehman es el mismo y repitio varias ideas de la pelicula de 1959 en esta. De todas maneras es casi igual de entretenida que la pelicula de Hitchcock. Y Paul Newman, como siempre, notable!
DrStrangeblog
Super Reviewer
½ February 27, 2010
Few are better at the rascally hero role than Paul Newman, here playing a jaded Nobel Prize novelist who has turned to drink, women, and writing dimestore detective stories. He travels to Stockholm merely to collect the $50,000 prize and meets fellow laureate physicist Edward G. Robinson, a German defector before WW II. The next day, his latent curiosity is piqued when he finds the scientist has strangely changed his behavior patterns and seems a couple inches shorter...

Entertaining Hitchcockian story that never turns too serious delivers some funny lines and provides engaging subplots and side characters.
½ December 8, 2009
A pretty decent spy comedy that had Paul Newman taking full advantage of the wonderfully witty script. Robinson was great too, of course, playing two roles the way only Robinson could. Perhaps I enjoyed it so much because it was so much better than that other 60s spy picture of Newman's, "Harper". Which sucks. But not, "The Prize."
July 31, 2009
OMG...I loved Elke Sommer...she simmers and sizzles subtly in this one!
Tongue n' cheek stuff. One of the first main-stream movies I recall with the eluded to-elusive Nudist nook in it!
Excellent cast, interesting twist which has & will continue to be copied!
January 31, 2009
well umn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a good movie 2 watch,...its got a good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie...i think that both paul newman n edward g robinson play good parts throughout this movie...i think that the director of this mystery/suspense/drama/classics movie had done a good job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throguhout this movie,,,its a good thriller movie n its enjoyable
½ November 24, 2008
Very funny and well produced. But full of Hollywood trash of course.
October 10, 2008
"Intrigo a Stoccolma". Stoccolma non si vede.
½ October 7, 2008
This movie is one of the better mystery movies that i know, i think it is underrated cuz i never heard about this one, paul newmans performance was very good and pretty funny to, the twist and the suspence at the end of the movie where really amazing.
October 4, 2008
Typische jaren '60 thriller. Degelijk in suspense, maar vergezocht qua script. Altijd leuk om Paul Newman (rip) een doorsnee film toch naar een hoger niveau te zien tillen.
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