Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Prize


I remember this film vividly from when it was new, because I sort of fell in love with Elke Sommer. I’m happy to report that she’s still alive, and she’s a painter. She’s pretty good, too. She has her own distinct style. Google her name and you can see a lot of images.

She was always a terrible actress, but she worked steadily in B or C or Z movies. I looked at her filmography and there is just nothing good there, though there were a few hits, like this one and A Shot in the Dark. (Odd coincidence: both films involved people getting embarrassed at a nudist camp. Here it is Paul Newman, and in the other, Elke and Peter Sellers.) She is a real Baroness, which I hadn’t known until just now. As a result of traveling all over Europe to make schlock movies in different countries, she speaks seven languages. She did several nude photo shoots for Playboy, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Purely as Art, of course.

This movie is pretty silly, and way too long at 134 minutes. It’s from a novel by Irving Wallace. It involves the awarding of the Nobel Prizes in Stockholm, and a lot of hugger-mugger around a substitute Edward. G. Robinson who is all set to denounce the USA and embrace the Russians, sort of like Trump, though that asshole isn’t an imposter, he’s the real thing. The winner of the Literature prize is Paul Newman, a drunk who reveals he has been supporting himself writing trashy detective stories. For some reason Newman elected to use a weird accent, which spoils most of the scenes he is in. Newman was good at a lot of things, but accents wasn’t one of them. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this movie is awful, but it is awfully dated.