Watch A Prize of Arms
- 1 hr 45 min
A Prize of Arms is a British war drama film from 1962, starring Stanley Baker, Helmut Schmid, and Tom Bell. Set during the early Cold War era, the film focuses on a British army sergeant, Michael Prentice (Stanley Baker), who is tasked with working undercover to uncover a network of illegal arms dealers operating in Europe. Prentice is chosen for the mission due to his excellent track record and his ability to blend seamlessly into different environments.
To carry out his mission, Prentice poses as an arms dealer, and soon he finds himself mingling with some of the most dangerous figures in the European black market arms trade. He easily makes inroads into these circles and gathers valuable intelligence on their activities. However, as he travels from country to country, each with its own unique culture and language, the task becomes increasingly challenging. Prentice must be resourceful, adaptable, and quick on his feet to avoid detection and achieve his objectives.
The film provides an intense and realistic portrayal of the underground arms trade during the Cold War era. It highlights the high stakes, the dangerous individuals involved, and the lengths to which governments would go in their efforts to monitor and detect illegal activities. The various locations where the film is set, such as Berlin, Paris, and Frankfurt, provide an added layer of realism and authenticity to the storyline.
The performances of the lead actors are top-notch and bring a genuine sense of danger and vulnerability to the characters they portray. Stanley Baker, who also served as the film's producer, delivers a compelling performance as Michael Prentice, showcasing his talent for playing complex, multifaceted characters. Helmut Schmid delivers a solid performance as the menacing arms dealer Victor Marek, while Tom Bell's portrayal of British intelligence officer Kenneth Baxter adds an element of intrigue and suspense to the plot.
The film's direction by Cliff Owen is disciplined and masterful. He keeps the pacing tight and the tension high throughout, providing the viewer with a sense of urgency and danger at every turn. Owen expertly captures the nuances of each location, providing a palpable sense of realism to the scenes. Additionally, cinematographer Ernest Steward's expert use of the widescreen format captures the mood and atmosphere of the various European locations expertly.
One of the standout aspects of A Prize of Arms is the detailed attention paid to the cultural and linguistic details of each location. From the bustling streets of Paris to the dingy back alleys of Berlin, the viewer is transported to each of these locations in a way that feels authentic and immersive. The use of local actors who speak the languages of their respective countries lends the film an added layer of credibility and authenticity. The film's use of multiple languages, English, French, German, adds to the authenticity of the setting and the danger the protagonist faces.
In conclusion, A Prize of Arms is a well-crafted, suspenseful, and realistic portrayal of the underground arms trade during the early days of the Cold War. Boasting excellent performances, expert direction, and outstanding cinematography, it is a must-watch for fans of the spy genre, historical thrillers, and war dramas. While it may be little known outside of its home country, A Prize of Arms is a British classic that deserves wider recognition for its outstanding contribution to the genre.
A Prize of Arms is a 1962 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.