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The Power and the Prize (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 1957 (Argentina)
Cliff Barton, an American business executive working in England, wants to marry European refugee Miriam Linka, but he is warned by his boss that such things just aren't done. Cliff digs in ... See full summary »


Henry Koster


Robert Ardrey (screen play), Howard Swigett (book) (as Howard Swiggett)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Complete credited cast:
Robert Taylor ... Cliff Barton
Elisabeth Müller ... Miriam Linka (as Elisabeth Mueller)
Burl Ives ... George Salt
Charles Coburn ... Guy Eliot
Cedric Hardwicke ... Mr. Carew (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
Mary Astor ... Mrs. George Salt
Niki Dantine ... Joan Salt (as Nicola Michaels)
Cameron Prud'Homme Cameron Prud'Homme ... Reverend John Barton (as Cameron Prud'homme)
Richard Erdman ... Lester Everett
Ben Wright ... Mr. Chutwell
Jack Raine ... Mr. Pitt-Semphill
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... Paul F. Farragut
Richard Deacon ... Howard Carruthers


Cliff Barton, an American business executive working in England, wants to marry European refugee Miriam Linka, but he is warned by his boss that such things just aren't done. Cliff digs in his heels and eventually finds support from his less hidebound fellow executives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Approved | See all certifications »





English | German

Release Date:

1957 (Argentina) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Macht und ihr Preis See more »


Box Office


$1,455,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The aircraft depicted as bringing Mr. Carew and others from London to the U.S. is a 1950 Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, registration N90948, named "Clipper Mandarin". It was removed from service in 1960 and sold to the Israeli Air Force in 1962. It has since been preserved at the Israeli Air Force Museum. See more »


The entire film from minute 10 to minute 20 is reversed, as revealed by (1) the backwards lettering in the London establishing shot and the signs visible in the back window during Cliff's taxi ride with his father, (2) male characters shaking hands with their left hands, and (3) breast pocket handkerchiefs appearing on the wearer's right side in this section and the traditional left side in all other parts of the film. It is first noticeable when the taxi pulls up to the Everett's apartment - the lettering of "36 Sutton Place" on the awning is reversed. It ends when Cliff Barton leaves Mr. Carew's office in London. It's as if the second reel of the film was printed reversed for some reason. See more »


Elia Everett: You dimwit, the doorbell is ringing. The doorbell is ringing! You... you turned off your hearing aid on me! You did it again!
[Throws her drink in his face]
Elia Everett: You turned your hearing aid off on me! The kind of guy that turns his hearing aid off on his own wife! You stupid... Oh, Mr. Barton!
See more »

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User Reviews

A Superior Film of Ideas From MGM; a Very Capable Drama
20 June 2005 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

This is a very "glossy" film in some ways, but it is also filled with well-developed characters. And because they are all well-acted and clearly presented in a dual-stranded storyline, they become very contexted and hard-to-forget. The script is by Robert Ardrey adapted from Howard Swiggett's fine novel. This is a another postwar film like many others that talks about values, and the sort of place the US needs to become--or unfortunately seemed to be becoming. The main characters in this plot are involved with a major international firm; the head of this firm, ably played by Burl Ives, is trying to consummate a deal with a British firm's leaders headed by Cedric Hardwicke. He also has a scheme in mind to cheat his partners, which finally does not sit well with his heir-apparent, played quite intelligently and straightforwardly by Robert Taylor. Complicating the plot for Taylor is his growing regard for a refugee played beautifully by Elisabeth Mueller. An act of courage by Taylor finally resolves the plot nicely; the moral crisis of the film becomes its climax, which gives it unusual power. The cast is very good indeed, with Mueller, Hardwicke, Ben Wright, Richard Erdmann and others also turning in very fine work. The film is B/W as a drama should be, and its values are very fine, thanks to work by MGM's best--Edwin Willis, Sidney Guilaroof and costumer Helen Rose. Music is by Bronislau Kaper with the director, Henry Koster, doing a first-rate job in a film featuring many interior-scenes and little outdoor work. Films about business are one way thinkers have of examining what is right and wrong with the United States' citizens approaches to making their constitutional ideas about individualism work; this work, except for the religious connections of Taylor's father, in my judgment a needless addition, is honest. I cannot recommend this unexpected little gem too highly.

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