The House of Rothschild

1934

The House of Rothschild (1934)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

George Arliss plays Nathan Rothschild, the head of a family of celebrated 19th century Jewish bankers. Despite the anti-semitic efforts of a powerful politico (Boris Karloff), Rothschild moves in the best European social circles. He is ultimately knighted for his services to the English crown, which include the financing of the Duke of Wellington's battle against Napoleon at Waterloo. This being a Hollywood picture, the political and financial intrigues have to be offset by romance--in this case the love affair between Rothschild's daughter (Loretta Young) and a handsome military officer (Robert Young). The final scene was photographed in the newly perfected three-strip Technicolor process, though for many years the TV distributors either removed this sequence or reprinted it in black and white. Designed in part as an attack against the burgeoning anti-semitism movement in Hitler's Germany, House of Rothschild was ironically exploited by Nazi functionary Joseph Goebbels, who redubbed and re-edited the film to serve as anti-Jewish propaganda!

Cast

George Arliss
as Mayer Rothschild
Loretta Young
as Julie Rothschild
Boris Karloff
as Count Ledrantz
Robert Young
as Captain Fitzroy
C. Aubrey Smith
as Duke of Wellington
A.S. Byron
as Baring
Helen Westley
as Gudula Rothschild
Florence Arliss
as Hannah Rothschild
Alan Mowbray
as Metternich
Noel Madison
as Carl Rothschild
Ivan Simpson
as Amschel Rothschild
Paul Harvey
as Solomon Rothschild
Georges Renavent
as Talleyrand
Murray Kinnell
as James Rothschild
Oscar Apfel
as Prussian Officer
Lumsden Hare
as Prince Regent
Leo McCabe
as Secretary
Gilbert Emery
as Prime Minister
Charles E. Evans
as Nesserolde
Ethel Griffies
as Woman Guest
Reginald Sheffield
as Stock Trader
Leonard Mudie
as Tax Collector in Prussia
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Critic Reviews for The House of Rothschild

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

A fine picture on all counts in the acting, writing, and directing.

Jul 7, 2010 | Full Review…
Variety
Top Critic

Not only does Mr. Arliss's work here excel that which he has done in any other picture, but most of the other rôles are acted expertly.

Jun 24, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A lavish Selznick biopic.

Jun 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

An outstanding historical account of the Rothschild financial dynasty during the Napoleonic wars.

Jan 31, 2012 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Zanuck's lavish production (finale is in three-strip Technicolor) of the Jewish financial empire is largely fictionalized but is more enjoyable due to the good cast of actors, including George Arliss in two roles.

Mar 24, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Tells the story of the rise of the Rothschild financial empire.

Jul 20, 2006 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The House of Rothschild

Who is George Arliss? Talk film with anyone, newbie fan to longtime devotee, and see who mentions him. Nobody. And yet he was something of an auteur in his day, respectable as a bank and better thought of. This is the first thing I've ever seen him in, the kind of thing he was most known for, historical bio-pics. And its an unusual bit too. A film about banking? Are you kidding me? And Jewish bankers no less? In a positive light? Talk about flying in the face of public perceptions! Wake me when it's over, okay? And yet: objective achieved. Because of George Arliss, class, humanity, distinction, purpose, he's the hub from which these qualities flow to and through the whole piece, a benevolent fatherly presence that's believable. I was impressed.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

In my opinion this is a hidden gem from the thirties that doesn't get a lot of airplay but probably should. It is one of the first looks at anti-semitism on film and is a great history lesson as well as a great film.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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