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The House of Rothschild

The House of Rothschild

The House of Rothschild is a 1934 American pre-Code film written by Nunnally Johnson from the play by George Hembert Westley, and directed by Alfred L. Werker. It chronicles the rise of the Rothschild family of European bankers.

Plot

In 1780 in Frankfurt (spelled as Frankfort in the film), Germany, youngster Nathan Rothschild warns his parents Mayer Amschel Rothschild and Guttle that the taxman is coming. They hurry and hide their wealth, including currency, silver, etc. The taxman demands 20,000 gulden, an exorbitant sum, but accepts a bribe of 5000 in exchange for assessing 2000 in taxes. Mayer's satisfaction is short-lived, however; a courier bringing him 10,000 gulden is intercepted and the money confiscated by the taxmen. Mayer tells his sons that he tries to be as honest as possible, but the antisemitic authorities will not let him; he admonishes his children to acquire money, for "money is power" and a defense for their people.