The House of Rothschild

The House of Rothschild ★★★

Pretty bold of Zanuck to produce a film centered solely on anti-Semitism this early on into Hitler’s reign. The film manages to make a bunch of banking transactions suspenseful, tying it to the Rothschilds’ fight for respectability. The ending kind of cheapens the struggle of the Jewish banking family throughout the film but that might just be some revisionist thinking on my part knowing full well the events of the subsequent decade of House of Rothschild’s release.

George Arliss’s theatrical style of acting hits really well in some scenes but missed the mark in others. In one scene I’d be all riled up from his righteously indignant speech and in the next scene be rolling my eyes at some over the top mannerism. I imagine he’d have been electric to watch on the stage but had a limited but serviceable range in front of the camera.

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