Production Company: 20th Century Pictures
Distributor: United Artists
Top Billed Actors: George Arliss, Boris Karloff, Loretta Young
IMDb Rating: 6.9
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 0 Oscars
Nominated for 1 more:
Plot: Some Jews play with money and save Europe time and time again, all the while getting shit on for being Jewish.
It became its most successful movie of the year perhaps for its excellent acting. The performance of Arliss, the third Best Actor winner, does not disappoint. He brings his clever, sly character to life with ever line of dialogue. Korloff also plays a good semi-villain. The public was so used to him in the Universal horro movies of the time, it is odd to see him in a movie about war-time finance. His racist character fits perfectly into that villainous scowl Korloff had perfected. I also enjoy the continuity of the story. Arliss' character, when he is a young boy, did not always follow his manners, such as putting his hands in his pockets indoors. Later in the movie, we see Arliss wearing his hat inside as well as putting his hands in his pockets. These things are done very subtlety and adds to his character.
Certain aspects of the movie made it less impressive. The romance between Arliss' daughter, a young Best Actress-to-be Loretta Young and a gentile officer seemed very forced. The viewer knows that this mixed-race relationship is a blatant metaphor for the need for improved relations between Jews and gentiles. Yes, the romance is necessary in this regard, but there is no emotion between the two. I also did not like the three-strip Technicolor sequence at the end of the picture. This is a very historical and monumental moment, as this is one of the first films to feature a scene filmed in color. However, by only have three or so minutes in color, it detracts from the overall experience and feels very gimmicky.
Overall, color and excellent acting cannot save the movie from dull lulls and superficial romances.
My Score: 6/10