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      The House of Rothschild

      Released Apr 7, 1934 1h 26m Drama Biography List
      100% Tomatometer 11 Reviews 54% Audience Score 100+ Ratings This sanitized take on the famed Rothschild family, a prominent European banking clan with Jewish roots, was in part a Hollywood effort to combat swelling tides of anti-Semitism during the 1930s. After patriarch Mayer (George Arliss) establishes the business, his five sons, led by Nathan (also played by Arliss), rise to significant heights, despite being dogged by a powerful politician (Boris Karloff). Meanwhile, Mayer's daughter (Loretta Young) falls for a handsome officer (Robert Young). Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (11) Critics Reviews
      THR Staff Hollywood Reporter A picture that is worthy of respectful criticism and one that is entertainment all the way through. Mar 17, 2020 Full Review Variety Staff Variety A fine picture on all counts in the acting, writing, and directing. Jul 7, 2010 Full Review Mordaunt Hall New York Times Not only does Mr. Arliss's work here excel that which he has done in any other picture, but most of the other rles are acted expertly. Rated: 4/5 Jun 24, 2006 Full Review Meyer Levin (Patterson Murphy) Esquire Magazine Although as a whole it does not deserve to be classified as a work of art, The House of Rothschild is a very superior piece of craftsmanship. Apr 17, 2020 Full Review Ann Ross Maclean's Magazine George Arliss' finest picture for some years. Jul 22, 2019 Full Review Helen Brown Norden Vanity Fair It is the best picture George Arliss has had for a long time. May 31, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (22) audience reviews
      nick s Great production quality especially given how early this movie is. Very compelling story and great acting allows you to lose yourself in the film. Not sure how true it is to history. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/24/23 Full Review Audience Member A relic with George Arliss changing history and overacting. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review andy f An amazing 1930s treat about the rise of the Rothschild's who fought years of anti-semitism. George Arliss is superb as is Loretta Young and even Boris Karloff gives a believable portrayal. A fascinating if 'slight' view into an often overlooked piece of history. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member 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. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Audience Member Not exactly a thrilling movie and the black n white didn't help either. However, this film is important historically for showing the centuries worth of anti-Semitism in Europe. It helps explain how someone like Hitler could come to power by exploiting a deep-seeded hatred and how ppl let him mistreat the Jews like that (they already had been for centuries). The main son welds his money, intellect, and family power to buy freedom and power for his people. Other than that, film has little else going on barely touches on the romance, Napoleonic wars, and some humor. Bargaining and the stock exchange just doesnt get me going. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review steve d A worthy subject well told. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis This sanitized take on the famed Rothschild family, a prominent European banking clan with Jewish roots, was in part a Hollywood effort to combat swelling tides of anti-Semitism during the 1930s. After patriarch Mayer (George Arliss) establishes the business, his five sons, led by Nathan (also played by Arliss), rise to significant heights, despite being dogged by a powerful politician (Boris Karloff). Meanwhile, Mayer's daughter (Loretta Young) falls for a handsome officer (Robert Young).
      Director
      Alfred L. Werker
      Screenwriter
      Nunnally Johnson
      Distributor
      United Artists
      Production Co
      20th Century Fox
      Genre
      Drama, Biography
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Apr 7, 1934, Original
      Runtime
      1h 26m