House of Strangers

Watch House of Strangers

"A powerhouse of emotion."
  • NR
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 7.3  (4,114)

House of Strangers is a 1949 film noir directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring a talented ensemble cast including Edward G. Robinson, Susan Hayward, and Richard Conte. The film is based on a novel by Jerome Weidman and tells the story of a dysfunctional family of Italian-American immigrants in New York City. Edward G. Robinson stars as Gino Monetti, the patriarch of the Monetti family, who is a successful banker in the city. He is a stern and controlling father who has built his bank from the ground up and expects his sons to follow in his footsteps. However, despite his successes, he is a cold and unfeeling man who is despised by his sons.

The eldest son, Joe (Richard Conte) is a lawyer who has become disillusioned with his father and is bitter about the way he treats his family. Gino is aware of Joe's resentment and treats him with a cold indifference that further alienates him.

The middle son, Max (Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) is a musician who is disinterested in the family business and is the black sheep of the family. He is the only son who shows any sign of compassion towards his father and tries to mend the strained relationship between his brothers and Gino.

The youngest son, Pietro (Luther Adler), is a corrupt businessman who is involved in shady deals and is constantly in trouble with the law. Gino is aware of Pietro's illegal activities but chooses to turn a blind eye to them, further fueling the resentment of his other sons.

The family dynamic is further complicated when Gino's wife (Hope Emerson) dies, and he finds solace in the company of a young secretary, Irene (Susan Hayward). Irene is aware of the tension between Gino and his sons and tries to be a mediator between them. However, her presence only adds to the friction between the family members.

The story culminates in a dramatic court case where Gino is put on trial for embezzlement. Joe is the prosecutor in the case while Pietro is the defense lawyer. The trial brings to light the family's long-standing resentment towards Gino and exposes the corruption within the family business. The trial becomes a battle not just for Gino's freedom but for the soul of the Monetti family.

House of Strangers is a gripping film noir that explores the themes of greed, power, and family loyalty. The film's direction, cinematography, and performances are exemplary, creating a tense and atmospheric mood that keeps the audience engaged. Edward G. Robinson's performance as the cold and calculating Gino is outstanding, and Richard Conte and Susan Hayward deliver strong supporting performances.

The film's themes of familial dysfunction and the corrupting influence of power still resonate with audiences today. House of Strangers is a classic film noir that deserves to be seen and appreciated by fans of the genre.

House of Strangers
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.3  (4,114)