David Golder (1932)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - France  |  
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Director Julien Duvivier's first talking picture, David Golder was based on a novel by Irene Nemirowsky. Harry Baur plays the title character, a poor but enterprising Polish Jew who re-invents himself as a powerful New York business magnate. Now a millionaire, Golder relocates to Paris, while his profligate wife and daughter spend his money at an exhausting rate in Biarritz. When he tries to curb their spending, his wife spitefully tells him that she has been unfaithful for years and that his beloved daughter is not his child. She further dares him to "do something" about her appalling behavior. Golder gets his revenge by deliberately allowing his business to collapse, forcing his wife to take drastic measures to recoup her wealth. As a final touch, Golder enters into an oil deal that will net him a fortune then signs over all the money to his daughter -- on the proviso that his wife is cut off without a penny. This done, David Golder dies in self-imposed poverty, having learned a bitter lesson about money and happiness.

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Keywords

anger, business, con/scam, daughter, deal [agreement], empire, employment, extramarital-affair, family, Judaism, loot, love, loveless, marriage, marriage-arranged, mother, oil, paternity, Polish [nationality], retirement, revenge, Russia, wealth, wife