House of Strangers [DVD]  [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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An Italian New York banker has a son who is loyal and three who are not. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
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Top Customer Reviews
Robinson rules as a dictator. although he does have a funny scene where he compares the old world to the new world, and his business practices come under investigation. As a result of this, Conte tries to protect him but doesn't get very far. The majority of the film is told in flashback, on either side of which we follow Conte as he seeks out his mission of revenge to those who encouraged the downfall of his father.
Keep a look out for the best plate of spaghetti ever filmed. Robinson presides over his family every Wednesday evening when they are required to attend a family meal. They take their places around the table, sit in silence and wait for everyone to arrive before they can start to eat while listening to Robinson's opera records at a volume of 3 million decibels. On this particular occasion, they wait for Conte to arrive. It's a strained atmosphere but definitely worth the wait when that pasta shows up.
The film gets you involved in a family drama that throws in an un-anticipated end sequence that pushes the story to another level. It's an entertaining film that emphasizes dialogue and drama more than action. All the cast do well with a special mention to oldest brother Luther Adler (Joe). Not sure why Susan Hayward is billed above Richard Conte, though.
Remade in the 50's as a Western with Spencer Tracy in the Edward G role.
Jerome Weidman's novel has proved to be a popular source for film adaptation, after this 20th Century Fox produced picture came the Western version with Broken Lance in 1954 (Yordan again adapting), and then Circus set for The Big Show in 1961. While its influence can be felt in many other, more notable, crime dramas along the way. The divided clan narrative provides good basis for drama and lets the better actors shine on the screen with such material. Such is the case with House of Strangers, which while hardly shaking the roots of film noir technically, does thematically play out as an engrossing, character rich, melodrama.
Propelled by a revenge core peppered with hate motives instead of love; and dabbling in moral ethics et al, Mankiewicz spins it out in flashback structure. The primary focus is on Max and Gino, with both given excellent portrayals by Conte and Robinson. Gino is a driven man, very dismissive towards three of his boys (Adler standing out as Joe) who he finds easy to find fault with.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We thoroughly enjoyed this film and we were impressed by the quality of the recordingPublished 2 months ago by Mr W J Stanley