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Svengali (1931)

 -  Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  22 May 1931 (USA)
7.0
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Reviews: 32 user | 18 critic

Through hypnotism and telepathic mind control, a sinister music maestro controls the singing voice, but not the heart, of the woman he loves.

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Title: Svengali (1931)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Marian Marsh ...
...
The Laird
Bramwell Fletcher ...
Billee
...
Madame Honori
Luis Alberni ...
Gecko
Lumsden Hare ...
Monsieur Taffy
Paul Porcasi ...
Bonelli
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Storyline

Sinister music maestro Svengali can control the actions of women through hypnotism and his telepathic powers. When a pupil he has seduced announces she has left her husband for him, he uses his powers to cause her suicide and promptly forgets her. He meets a beautiful model, Trilby, and becomes infatuated with her, but she, in turn, falls for a young artist called Billee who also loves her. One day Svengali hypnotizes Trilby to cure her headache, but also examines her upper palate and decides it is an ideal cavity for great singing. He convinces her to fake her suicide, so Billee and friends will forget her, and goes on a singing tour with her. Svengali uses his powers to make her sing wonderfully and Madame Svengali, as Trilby is now known, becomes a sensation throughout Europe. But Billee discovers the ruse and begins to follow the pair, upsetting Svengali enough to have him cancel performances too frequently, so they no longer can perform in Europe. They go to Egypt, but Billee ... Written by Arthur Hausner <genart@volcano.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Weirdest romance ever pictured! With the screen's genius and his new find. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

22 May 1931 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

After Billie vows to follow Svengali and regain Trilby's attentions, we see an article in a Naples newspaper titled "Opera News." The second paragraph reads thus: "Monsieur Bonelli states Monsieur Svengali has recoved from his illness." See more »

Quotes

Svengali: Svengali will go to London himself! Where he will be all alone on a platform. And Princesses. And Countesses. And serene Highnesses will fling him their jewels, and applaud, and invite him to their palaces. And he will take you with him. I never look at them. Ah, we could be so happy. Look at me, in the eyes. Open your eyes.
Trilby O'Farrell: Oh, I do love you!
Svengali: Close your eyes.
Trilby O'Farrell: I love...
Svengali: Ah, don't say it! You are beautiful, my manufactured love. But it is only Svengali talking to himself again.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Hokus Pokus (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Ben Bolt (Oh Don't You Remember)
(uncredited)
Music by Nelson Kneass
Lyrics by Thomas Dunn English from his poem
Performed by Marian Marsh
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The pleasure to watch the classics
18 July 2005 | by See all my reviews

I felt very touched by J. Barrymore's performance as Maestro Svengali, although I had already tasted the pleasure to watch this great actor in Grand Hotel. The movie is short to me, while the way it develops is slow as slow the way Maestro Svengali speaks, to give a more sense of fatality to the movie. The little resources that movie makers could use during those old times are more than enough to give an impact still to the spectators of our century. The eyes, the decorations, all is very well portrayed and gives an eerie feeling all through the movie. The scene where maestro svengali looks at his beloved (before the end of the movie) when he speaks slowly while crying in silence is a masterpiece.

I recommend this movie to people who want to discover more the classics, and those who like suspense and thriller movies.


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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