Jew Süss (1934 film)

Jew Süss (in the US retitled Power – Jew Suss[3]) is a 1934 British historical romantic drama film based on Lion Feuchtwanger's 1925 novel Jud Süß, about Joseph Süß Oppenheimer. Directed by Lothar Mendes, the film stars German actor Conrad Veidt in the role of Oppenheimer. The screenplay was written by Dorothy Farnum and Arthur Rawlinson.[4]

Jew Süss
1934 UK cinema poster
Directed byLothar Mendes
Produced byMichael Balcon
Screenplay by
Based onJud Süß (novel)
by Lion Feuchtwanger
StarringConrad Veidt
Music by
Distributed byGaumont-British
Release date
  • 4 October 1934 (1934-10-04) (UK & US[1])
  • 1 November 1934 (1934-11-01) (US wide)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

Unlike the Nazis' antisemitic film Jud Süß (1940), the British film is sympathetic to Jews, and generally considered to be a faithful adaptation of Feuchtwanger's novel.[5] It was intended to be a condemnation of antisemitism, not a justification of it. The German version is considered by some to be an antisemitic response to Mendes' philo-semitic film.[6]


The film premiered simultaneously at the Tivoli Cinema on the Strand in London and Radio City Music Hall in New York on 4 October 1934, with Prince George and Queen Maria of Romania being the guests of honour at the UK premiere. A blurry telephoto picture of Prince George attending the London premiere was shown for the audience in New York, which – due to the time zone difference – saw the film some five hours later. According to The Times correspondent, "the reproduction was indistinct, but the picture was notable as the first attempt to use a radio photograph on the screen".[7]

When the film went on general release in the US on 1 November 1934, it had been retitled Power – Jew Süss.[3]


  1. Article in The Times, 6 October 1934, page 10: "Jew Süss" Reception in New York – found in The Times Digital Archive 2013-11-03
  2. D., C. "An Important Experiment", The Sunday Times [London, England] 7 Oct. 1934: 7. The Sunday Times Digital Archive. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
  3. Wikipedia Commons: Cinema posters on wall in New York 1935 Linked 2013-11-03
  4. Ian Wallace (1 January 2009). Feuchtwanger and film. Peter Lang. p. 153. ISBN 978-3-03911-954-7. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  5. Sadoul, Georges; Morris, Peter (1 September 1972). Dictionary of films. University of California Press. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-520-02152-5. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  6. "Controversial Nazi film released in Germany". BBC. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  7. Articles in The Times on 5 and 6 October, pp. 12 and 10 respectively – found in The Times Digital Archive 2013-11-03
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