90 Days of Oscar Nominees #13 – The House of Rothschild (1934)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 13th review of the 90 chosen Films…

“We require an agreement, a treaty, signed and guaranteed by your governments giving to our people absolute freedom. In this agreement, they would lose their chains, they would have the right to follow any trade, to own land, to live with respect, and… remember what our father said mama… to walk the world with dignity. ” – Nathan Rothschild

Number of Times Seen – 1 (12 Dec 2017)

Brief Synopsis – Biography of one of the most influential banking families in Europe who were always looked down upon due to antisemitic views from government officials.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before coming across it for this series.

I was shocked and surprised when I started to grasp what it was all about.

The fact that this film so openly deals with the issues of antisemitism is amazing especially for the time period that it was made.

This is a perspective that is rarely shown on films and I was happy to see it dealt with so well by this story.

The dialogue is crisp and clever and it was very interesting seeing how both sides (Jews and Non-Jews) would refer to this phenomena as if it was a common occurrence and one not to quibble over.

The themes of prejudice are discussed openly and there is even a bit too much self-depreciating humor by the Rothschild’s about their heritage.

George Arliss plays the main character(s) really well and both his portrayals of father and son give us a profound perspective on the events depicted throughout.

These are themes that affected their lives but still have ripple effects even now more than two hundred years later.

The fact that this film was made at the time when Hitler had just risen to power shows how quickly themes in history can be changed and become cyclical in nature.

These kind of things can obviously happen when there is no one around to speak out against these injustices.

This is definitely a film I plan to see again at some point in the future.

Bottom Line – Great film that really shows things from a very interesting perspective that is not usually shown in film. The dialogue is crisp and superbly written and shed light on themes about prejudice and is filled with self depreciating humor in some instances. Arliss is superb in the title role(s) and plays father and son equally well to give us a great perspective on the events of the story and how they affect the lives then and even today.  The fact that this film came out just as Hitler came to power shows how things in the world can change so quickly especially when there is no one to speak out against injustices.  Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – This film has the unique accolade of only receiving one Oscar nomination – and that was for Best Film. Other members of this small club include Libeled Lady (1936), One Foot in Heaven (1941) and Grand Hotel (1932) (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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2 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #13 – The House of Rothschild (1934)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1934 |

  2. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1934 |

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