Svengali tells the story of Dixie, a small town guy with a big dream. He leaves a humble Welsh mining town for the bright lights of London, intent on becoming the manager of the best band ... See full summary »
High society, high times, and no end in sight. Shameless is an emotionally charged story about heroin, high living and the dramatic power of love as the last chance for survival. In the ... See full summary »
In the Post-World War II, the British Susanne Mallison travels to Berlin to visit her older brother Martin Mallison, a military that has married the German Bettina Mallison. The naive ... See full summary »
In Shakespeare's classic play, the Montagues and Capulets, two families of Renaissance Italy, have hated each other for years, but the son of one family and the daughter of the other fall desperately in love and secretly marry.
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 »
Apparently this is the tenth(!) screen version of George Du Maurier's "Trilby" but only the second one I have watched myself thus far the other being the classic 1931 John Barrymore version from Warner Brothers entitled SVENGALI, of course. Presently, I will also be getting to the similarly-titled modernized TV version of 1983 starring Peter O'Toole and Jodie Foster but, for the record, there are two more adaptations I am most interested in, which are Maurice Tourneur's Silent original TRILBY (1915; which is available on DVD from Alpha!) and the "BBC Play Of The Month" TV version from 1976 with Alan Badel. Anyway, back to the version at hand: apart from the truly wretched copy I got saddled with (comprising constant combing and intermittent freezing issues!), I quite liked this handsomely-mounted and literate (if clearly stage-bound and clumsily edited) adaptation that benefits greatly from two excellent central performances: albeit a last-minute replacement for the ailing Robert Newton and clearly overweight for the role of the insufferable Svengali, Donald Wolfit's bizarrely effective combination of Bela Lugosi's looks and Frankie Howerd's voice earned him a nod at the British Film Awards; on the other hand, the overage but beautiful Hildegarde Neff is suitably moving as the innocently sensual gamine Trilby. The rest of the notable cast includes Terence Morgan (as Little Billy), David Kossoff (as Gecko), Noel Purcell (as Trilby's father), Michael Hordern (as Morgan's disapproving minister uncle) and, as starving Parisian painters, Alfie Bass, Harry Secombe and Michael Craig!
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