Tuesday, July 12, 2011

House of Strangers as a Derivative of King Lear

House of Strangers. Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Perf. Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, and Richard Conte. 1949. DVD. Twentieth Century Fox, 2006.
House of Strangers is a derivative of King Lear where three of four sons (instead of two of three daughters) take over their father's kingdom. In this film, the kingdom is a bank, and the king (Gino Monetti, the bank's director) doesn't willingly divide his kingdom. Instead, his kingdom is divided for him when he stands trial for unethical practices.

Here's a scene from early in the film where the father's authority (as well as his questionable business practices) are foregrounded:


Does it seem less horrible to have sons (rather than daughters) reject their father? Does it make a difference to set that rejection in the Italian-American community?
Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from amazon.com
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

This is a bonus image. The Lear analogue is asking what he should do when he's thrown out of the bank. One of his sons tells him, "You're an old man. Buy peanuts."

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Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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