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."

No comments:

Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

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.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest