6.8/10
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28 user 8 critic

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

Boris Karloff was irritated with Universal refusing to up his contract pay after the success of The Mummy (1932) so he decamped to England to make The Ghoul (1933). This immediately led to offers for non-Universal films, The Lost Patrol (1934) and The House of Rothschild (1934). Karloff happily accepted these roles as they upped his profile and enabled him to have a bit more leverage in his negotiations with Universal when they wanted him to star in The Black Cat (1934). See more »

Quotes

Mayer Rothschild: To trade with dignity, to live with dignity, to walk the world with dignity.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Dad's Army: War Dance (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

He's a Fine Old English Gentleman
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Alfred Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
fascinating film about the international banking family
26 March 2006 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Darryl F. Zanuck covered Napoleon's sweep across Europe in two early films: "Lloyds of London," in which Tyrone Power plays a fictional character who continues insuring the British fleet so that his childhood friend, Horatio Nelson, can win the war; and "The House of Rothschild" in which Nathan Rothschild and his banker brothers provide the financing to beat Napoleon. Both are excellent films.

There are a few historical liberties in "The House of Rothschild," but the film is based on fact. George Arliss has a dual role as Mayer Rothschild and his son, Nathan. When the film begins, the family is living in a Prussian Jewish ghetto where Mayer is doing well but doesn't want the tax collectors to know. On his deathbed, he instructs his sons to establish banking houses throughout Europe as so much money is stolen when it is being carried by messengers. The plot then focuses on Nathan and goes into the rampant anti-Semitism which forces Nathan out of an important loan. It also shows his brilliance for business as he fights Count Ledrantz (Boris Karloff) who spreads propaganda and incites pogroms. The climax of the film takes place when it appears Napoleon is winning and Nathan starts buying up everything on the stock market, which is bottoming out, in order to keep the deal he made for the war effort. Though not much is made of it, the Rothschilds had informants everywhere, which enabled them to get information before anyone else. He is able to announce before it is made public that Napoleon has been defeated at Waterloo.

"House of Rothschild" stars one of the great actors, George Arliss. Other actors from the stage entering films often used tremulous voices and melodramatic gestures but Arliss had a tremendous speaking voice and a grand acting style that made a powerful impression on the screen and infused the characters he played with a believability as well. A blond, beautiful Loretta Young is on hand as his daughter, who is in love with a Gentile named Fitzroy (Robert Young) - and though one would expect the love story to be fiction, it isn't.

This film has an interesting history of its own: Excerpts from it, taken out of context, were used in the anti-semitic Nazi films Der ewige Jude and Die Rothschilds. Despite persecution, the Rothschilds remain an extremely powerful family in the present - the original name of the family was Bauer; Rothschild is actually German for "red shield," which is in the center of the family coat of arms. Today, they're in a variety of occupations besides banking - actress Helena Bonham Carter is a Rothschild due to a marriage on her mother's side.


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