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Thread: Movie: The House Of Rothschild (Unbelievable)

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    Movie: The House Of Rothschild (Unbelievable)

    They will never make another movie like this one.
    Please click on the youtube icon in the bottom right of the screen to take you to the other nine parts.

    House of Rothschild

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    This is a German classic from 1941.
    It translates as 'The Rothschilds Shares in Waterloo'

    Die Rothschilds - Aktien auf Waterloo

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    Here is a NY Times review of The House Of Rothschild:

    By MORDAUNT HALL.
    Published: March 15, 1934

    Having been eminently successful in his screen portrayals of such historical figures as Disraeli, Alexander Hamilton and Voltaire, the suave George Arliss in "The House of Rothschild," a picture launched last night at the Astor, turns his attention to playing two members of the famous banking family. In the early scenes he appears as the founder of the firm, Mayer Anseim Rothschild, but for the greater part of the film he acts Nathan Rothschild, the financial wizard who made his headquarters in London.

    In his delineation of the two characters, Mr. Arliss outshines any performance he has contributed to the screen, not excepting his expert and highly revealing interpretation of Disraeli. He exacts sympathy in the two parts and never fails to make the most of gentle bits of comedy. His smooth diction is as admirably suited to his work in the present film as it was to Disraeli, or even to the Rajah in "The Green Goddess."

    Although the producers juggle with certain dates and here and there a name is changed, the story runs along smoothly and swiftly, clinging substantially to facts in the major points. Where there are embellished bits of history, it is all so well done that it makes a grand show. In fact the picture is engrossing throughout. The dialogue is smart and often witty and the direction and staging are excellent.

    At the outset there are glimpses of Jew Street, Frankfort, at the curfew hour. Once inside Mayer Rothschild's home, one finds him thinking of money while his good wife, Gudula, attends to a roast. The report that the tax collector is about to visit the house causes excitement. The roast is thrust out of sight and Mayer prepares to receive the unwelcome official. Evidently there was a good deal of graft and tax dodging in those old days, too, for Mayer does his utmost to avoid paying the prohibitive tax.

    Later, after Mayer's death, the five brothers are perceived at their respective headquarters in London, Paris, Naples, Vienna and Frankfort. If there is a question of a loan to some power, the Rothschilds declare that they will have to consult their brothers, particularly Nathan. They have lit upon an idea which gives them an advantage over the couriers of that day, but what it is, is best left untold here, as it serves as a surprise toward the end of the picture. Apparently the Rothschild of Paris has a hard row to hoe for Nathan, as the guiding spirit, is most eager to see Napoleon defeated. The Duke of Wellington ventures that with the Little Corsican in Elba, nothing more will be heard from him. But then comes the exciting news that Napoleon has escaped and is on his way to the French capital.

    A stirring part of the picture is that which deals with the manner in which the Rothschilds were cheated out of a share of the great French loan, but Nathan reveals himself to be equal to the occasion and before long he has his enemies begging for mercy.

    The climactic episode is developed with great effect. It is when the financiers are selling securities on the London Exchange, all revealing themselves far more interested in the state of their pocketbooks than in what may happen to their country. Napoleon is throwing his forces against Wellington at Waterlo and sell! sell! sell! is the idea of the excited bankers. A little man with a top hat on the back of his head has poured forth £5,000,000 to save England. He is Nathan, and when understrappers declare that he is going too far, that he cannot last out, Nathan still coolly insists on giving the order to buy. Man after man comes up to him and they are told to continue buying. And amid this pandemonium Nathan keeps his head.

    Comes the report that Napoleon has vanquished Wellington, but Nathan sticks by his only weapon to fight wars—his gold—and pours more of it into bonds. He eventually receives first word of the result of the fighting on that June 18, 1815. How the message comes you will see in the picture.

    There is a Technicolor sequence toward the end revealing the reception in the court and the honoring of Nathan Rothschild by the Prince Regent.

    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. Boris Karloff, without any facial disguise, appears to advantage as the sinister Baron Ledrantz. C. Aubrey Smith may be tall, but he makes a most ingratiating and vigorous Duke of Wellington. Helen Westley is admirable as Gudula Rothschild and Reginald Owen does capital work as Herries. A romance between gentile and Jewess is quite adequately portrayed by Robert Young and Loretta Young. Mrs. Arliss is charming as Nathan's wife, Hannah. Arthur Byron is convincing as Baring and Ivan Simpson does creditably as Amschel Rothschild.

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