Robert Newton was originally hired to play Svengali with a specific clause in the contract about the actor's drinking, but after a few days of shooting his erratic behavior resulted in his being replaced by Donald Wolfit. Newton fled to Australia where he filmed "Long John Silver," but when he returned he found himself facing a $375,000 breach of contract suit from the producers. See more »
The worst film version of "Trilby" that I've ever seen
Having seen the 1915, 1931, 1955 and 1983 film versions of George du Maurier classic novel "Trilby", I have to comment that this version is the worst (although, the 1983 version is not much better). What were the producers of this film thinking? Hildegard Kneff (with a thick German accent) is all wrong as Trilby O'Ferrall. She sounds more like Marlene Dietrich than she does a British person living in 1890's France. I wonder why they didn't cast a young British starlet in this role? It would have been an improvement! Donald Wolfit is all wrong as Svengali. He shows none of the characters wit or menace and seems like he just wandered onto the set one day and was asked if he'd like to stick around for the production (Where was Peter Cushing when we needed him?). Terence Morgan isn't bad as Little Billie, but unfortunately his presence is not enough to save this boring film which strays much too far from du Maurier's original tale.
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