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A Prize of Arms (1962)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 12 October 1962 (West Germany)
A criminal gang sets out to pull off the heist of a large army payroll.

Director:

Cliff Owen

Writers:

Paul Ryder (screenplay), Nicolas Roeg (from an original story by) (as Nicholas Roeg) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Stanley Baker ... Turpin
Helmut Schmid ... Swavek
Tom Bell ... Fenner
John Phillips ... Col. Fowler
Patrick Magee ... RSM Hicks
John Westbrook ... Capt. Stafford
Kenneth MacKintosh Kenneth MacKintosh ... Capt. Nicholson (as Kenneth Mackintosh)
Jack May Jack May ... MO
Frank Gatliff Frank Gatliff ... Maj. Palmer
Michael Ripper ... Cpl. Freeman
Rio Fanning Rio Fanning
John Rees John Rees ... Sgt. Jones
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Storyline

A criminal gang sets out to pull off the heist of a large army payroll.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

'Never in the history of crime was so much taken from so many by so few'

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 October 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Das Netz See more »

Filming Locations:

Sussex, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Rodney Bewes. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice Little Nail Biter
9 June 2015 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

Turin a former officer in the British Army who was dismissed from the outfit sixteen years earlier decides to take his revenge on the military by planning and carrying out a payroll robbery at his former barracks

British films from this period tended to lag behind their American counterparts on many levels and a common criticism was that "British cinema was radio with pictures" . It's interesting this film was released a couple of years before ZULU which even today is probably the epitome of what can be termed British Hollywood and that several cast members , Baker ,Magee and Edwards featured in both films , but in its own way A PRIZE OF ARMS is low key but an involving heist thriller

Now heist thrillers are rather formulaic and often rely on double cross and triple cross . Not so here where the characters are stealing money for themselves and are therefore reliant on themselves . Made in the early 1960s when National Service had just ended in Britain it's set in a time when people had an ambiguous mindset towards the military . You can see both viewpoints from this film . Pilfering was a common occurrence in a conscript army and the trio of thieves seen here are just taking things one step further , but at the same time the military isn't shown as stupid or inept either . Perhaps most tellingly there's little violence used and the heist is carried out via very careful planning just like you'd get in the military and just like in conflict the careful plans go out of the window as the first boot lands on hostile territory . This is what makes A PRIZE OF ARMS a memorable heist thriller - it's well written with several points where you gasp "How are they going to get out of this one ? " and when a film makes you worry that a bunch of spivs might get caught red handed this must be viewed as a success


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