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The House of Rothschild (1934)

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

Directors:

Alfred L. Werker (as Alfred Werker), Sidney Lanfield (uncredited)

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screen play), George Hembert Westley (based on a play by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Arliss ... Mayer Rothschild / Nathan Rothschild
Boris Karloff ... Count Ledrantz
Loretta Young ... Julie Rothschild
Robert Young ... Capt. Fitzroy
C. Aubrey Smith ... Duke of Wellington
Arthur Byron ... Baring
Helen Westley ... Gudula Rothschild
Reginald Owen ... Herries
Florence Arliss ... Hannah Rothschild
Alan Mowbray ... Prince Metternich
Holmes Herbert ... Rowerth
Paul Harvey ... Solomon Rothschild
Ivan F. Simpson ... Amschel Rothschild (as Ivan Simpson)
Noel Madison ... Carl Rothschild
Murray Kinnell ... James Rothschild
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Storyline

The story of the rise of the Rothschild financial empire founded by Mayer Rothschild and continued by his five sons. From humble beginnings the business grows and helps to finance the war against Napoleon, but it's not always easy, especially because of the prejudices against Jews. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 April 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rothschild See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

20th Century Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(copyright length) | (FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

George Arliss asked Warner Bros. to buy the play on which this film was based while he was under contract there in 1931. Warners bought the play but did not make the film. When Arliss left Warners, he convinced Darryl F. Zanuck to purchase the play from Warners for 20th Century Pictures, where it was eventually made. See more »

Quotes

Count Ledrantz: You won your fight with me, Jew, but remember, victory may have been won too dearly.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Older television prints of "House of Rothschild" were totally in black-and-white, and did not show the final scene in its original Technicolor form. Most current TV prints have now restored the Technicolor finale. See more »


Soundtracks

The British Grenadiers
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Alfred Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Money, the only weapon we have"
24 March 2013 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Before Paul Muni was doing biographical films at Warner Brothers, George Arliss was doing them before. Arliss a veteran of the British theater was one of the first to recognize the importance of film in preserving the actor's art. He did even more silent films than sound which took advantage of his magnificent speaking voice and perfect English diction. His acting today is considered hammy by many, but for me I like the idea of being able to understand every enunciated word.

In The House Of Rothschild Arliss plays the dual role of patriarch Meyer Rothschild and later Nathan, one of the five sons whom he dispatched to various European capitals to establish the family banking business. This was in the 1780s-90s. By 1814 the House is well established throughout Europe and even when countries are at war, The House Of Rothschild acts as a unit. Though the Paris branch has to be a bit discreet with Napoleon Bonaparte making war on all the rest of the places the brothers have set up shop.

The money lender is never a popular figure. It's the reason why when Jews were forbidden to own land and frozen out of certain businesses and trades, they were allowed to be bankers. That way it was a double whammy in unpopularity for them.

The House Of Rothschild even with Napoleon making entreaties to the Jewish people backs the Allied cause to the hilt. It wins the gratitude of someone no less than the Duke of Wellington played by Sir C. Aubrey Smith. But Prussian banker Ledranz played by Boris Karloff makes no secret of his anti-Semitism. Quite a daring piece for 1934 as Hitler was starting his war on the Jews and few were speaking out.

Florence Arliss the real life wife of George Arliss plays his wife Hannah in his Nathan persona. But Helen Westley is mother Rothschild and she gives a lively performance. It is she whom you will remember best from this film after George Arliss.

Robert Young and Loretta Young play a Wellington aide and a Rothschild daughter who fall in love and are the secondary romantic plot in this film. But it's Arliss's portrayal of the shrewd and intrepid Nathan Rothschild and the story of the fortune that is the heart of the film. And it is a big heart in every sense of the word.


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