During a country house party, wealthy Jew Ferdinand de Levis (Basil Rathbone) finds a large sum of money missing. Suspecting his antagonistic rival Captain Ronald Dancy (Miles Mander), de Levis sets in motion a devastating chain of events which will bring them face to face at the High Court. Adapted from a 1922 play by Nobel Prize-winning author John Galsworthy (The Forsyte Saga), Loyalties exposed an insidious vein of prejudice among the British upper classes and a disturbing tendency to close ranks against ‘outsiders’.
While the film’s stage roots are apparent, its portrait of anti-Semitism in inter-war Britain is impressively nuanced. Producer-director Basil Dean was a prominent figure in the British film industry and built the original Ealing Studios in 1931. Loyaltiesremains one of Dean’s most interesting yet least-known films.