The House of Rothschild (1934)

Passed   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


The House of Rothschild (1934) Poster

The wealthy Rothschild family undergoes prejudice from the anti-Semitic society they live within.


6.6/10
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7 February 2011 | howdymax
8
| Money, money, money
A dramatic, inter-generational history of the House of Rothchild. Most people have a vague notion of the Rothchild banking dynasty, but like me, probably didn't know the history and pain that went with it. This story covers the origin and evolution of that dynasty and an explanation of it's motivation. The story centers around the elder brother, Nathan, played by George Arliss and his four brothers. I have to admit that I never saw the George Arliss magic until I saw this picture. He really was a major talent, although he was quite old when he did this. We see the family breaking out of "Jew Street" in Frankfurt, and establishing banks throughout Europe while struggling to overcome anti-semitic attitudes and actual pogroms. There are some personal vignettes involving Loretta Young as Nathan's daughter and her goy suitor played by Robert Young that tend to humanize the family but really don't amount to much. The real story is the family drive to help stabilize a war ravaged Europe and through it, command the respect of a deeply anti-semitic aristocratic European society. The picture paints a rather pastel version of what was probably a grueling battle for acceptance, but it managed to convey a feeling of warmth and respect for the underdog. There are some very nice touches. The family members all touch the mezuzah each time the enter or leave the house. Everybody kisses Mama, and George Arliss shows what appears to be a real tenderness whenever he interacts with Loretta Young. The brothers never appear to be avaricious, but rather an integrated force of will, determined to succeed, yet determined to play by the rules. All in all, an enjoyable and informative docu-drama. Well worth the 90 minutes.

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