A £250,000 military payroll attracts the attention of Turpin (Stanley Baker) who, since his own Army days, has dreamed of the perfect robbery that would put him on easy street for the rest of his life.
Sharing his enthusiasm for the gigantic snatch are old Army colleagues Swavek (Helmut Schmid), a Polish explosives expert, and Fenner (Tom Bell), a daring young stop-at-nothing driver.
The three plan the operation with meticulous thoroughness using an old garage and its environs as a sort of assault course to practice with a flame thrower and explosives to perfect their grand plan.
They check and re-check the plan with stopwatch precision and equip themselves with military uniforms, pay books, works tickets, a three-ton Army truck and everything possible to allow them to enter the Army camp and remain there for the whole day to carry out the scheme’s essential arrangements without arousing suspicion among the camp’s personnel.
The troops are being drafted overseas to the Middle East, which accounts for the large amount of cash now being held at the camp. “When you’re sending an army abroad, you can’t send a cheque after ’em. You’ve got to take the dough,” Turpin explains.
The plotters sit listening to the radio news bulletins each night and finally learn that the expedition is on – the troops are to embark the following day. The trio are ready to carry out their carefully rehearsed plan.
They change into military uniforms and set off to the camp in their Army truck as dawn breaks. There can be no turning back.
A Prize of Arms is a suspenseful but pacy thriller and a terrific heist movie. Look closely for a wealth of soon-to-be-famous faces amongst the soldiers, including Rodney Bewes, Patrick Magee, Stephen Lewis, Geoffrey Palmer and Fulton Mackay.