January 2, 2017

Films

A Prize of Gold – 1955 | 98 mins | Crime, Drama | Colour

Plot Synopsis

A Prize of Gold

Taut post-war thriller based on Max Catto’s novel of the same title and starring Richard Widmark as an American army sergeant who steals a shipment of Nazi gold. The plot of this heist film may be none too convincing; it’s part routine thriller, part sentimental melodrama, but under the fast-paced t direction of Mark Robson it provides both action and entertainment in generous proportions. The picture also boasts vivid locations of the post-war ruins of Berlin and London. Tough-guy Widmark is a strong presence in the lead role but his characters motivation is fuzzy. Strong support comes from Mai Zetterling and British character actors George Cole, Donald Wolfit and Nigel Patrick.

Set in post-war Germany, in the British occupied zone of Berlin, a dredger uncovers Nazi gold bullion from the canal bed. It�s decided that the gold will be flown to London in four shipments in an Anglo-American operation. Two military policemen are detailed as armed escorts to fly with the gold; US Army Sergeant Joe Lawrence (Richard Widmark) and nervy British Sergeant Roger Morris (George Cole).

Meanwhile, Joe has his jeep stole by a teenage Berlin street urchin. His pursuit of the young tearaway leads him to Maria Koller (Mai Zetterling), a young woman who has set up a refugee school for a number of orphaned children amongst the bombed-out ruins of Berlin. Maria hopes to take the children to Brazil to start a new life. Maria needs money, and Joe decides to help by stealing one of the gold bullion shipments.

Joe joins forces with Sgt Morris to carry out the heist. Together the fly to London to recruit three dubious types to assist in the robbery; Roger�s Uncle Dan (Joseph Tomelty), retired fence Alfie Stratton (Donald Wolfit) and flash ex-RAF pilot Brian Hammell (Nigel Patrick). As the gold is being flown from Germany to the UK, Joe, Roger and Hammell hijack the plane and land at an abandoned airfield in England. Dan and Stratton are waiting with a lorry to load the bullion on to, but Joe and Roger begin having second thoughts.

Production Team

Mark Robson: Director
John Box: Art Direction
Ted Moore: Cinematography
Bill Lewthwaite: Film Editing
Muir Mathieson: Music Department
Malcolm Arnold: Original Music
Irving Allen: Producer
Albert R Broccoli: Producer
Phil C Samuel: Producer
John Paxton: Script
Robert Buckner: Script
Gerry Anderson: Sound Department
JB Smith: Sound Department

Cast

Richard Widmark: Sergeant Joe Lawrence
Mai Zetterling: Maria
Nigel Patrick: Brian Hammell
George Cole: Sergeant Roger Morris
Donald Wolfit: Stratton
Joseph Tomelty: Uncle Dan
Andrew Ray: Conrad
Karel Stepanek: Zachmann
Robert Ayres: Tex
Eric Pohlmann: Fischer



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