A PRIZE OF GOLD (director: Mark Robson; screenwriters: based on a Max Cattonovel/John Paxton/Robert Buchner; cinematographer: Ted Moore; editor: William Lewthwaite ; music: Malcolm Arnold; cast: Richard Widmark(Sgt. Joe Lawrence), Mai Zetterling (Maria), Nigel Patrick (Brian Hammell), George Cole (Sgt. Roger Morris), Donald Wolfit (Alfie Stratton), Joseph Tomelty (Uncle Dan), Andrew Ray (Conrad), Karel Stepanek (Dr. Zachmann), Eric Pohlmann (Fischer); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Irving Allen/Albert R. Broccoli; Columbia; 1955-UK)
The routine thriller was done in by too much sentimentality, a leaden presentation and a dumb plot.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Mark Robson(“Bedlam”/”Roughshod”/”Isle of the Dead”) directs in a fast pace this idiotic post-war thriller about the hijacking of gold bullion being air-transported from Berlin to London. It’s based on Max Cato’s novel, and is written with deep plot holes by John Paxton and Robert Buchner.

In the British occupied zone of Berlin, Nazi gold bullion is discovered in a canal bed. In an Anglo-American operation the authorities from both countries decide to fly it in four shipments to London. US Army Sergeant Joe Lawrence (Richard Widmark) and British Sergeant Roger Morris (George Cole) are assigned as military policemen escorts of the gold. When a street teen steals Joe’s jeep, he tracks it down to a struggling refugee school for orphans run by the do-gooder Maria Koller (Mai Zetterling). Joe falls for the pretty lass, and decides to help her get a new start for the orphans by stealing one of the gold bricks in the shipment so she can start a school in Brazil. Sgt. Morris goes along with Joe’s plan (never mind it’s a criminal one!). The military men recruit three suspicious types to help pull off the heist, Roger’s Uncle Dan (Joseph Tomelty), retired fence Alfie Stratton (Donald Wolfit) and an ex-RAF pilot Brian Hammell (Nigel Patrick). When their crazy scheme goes into full motion, the escorts have second thoughts and wonder if it’s too late to stop this crazy business. The routine thriller was done in by too much sentimentality, a leaden presentation and a dumb plot.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”