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 »
Henry Hobson is a successful bootmaker and tyrannical widower of three daughters. The girls each want to leave their father by getting married, but Henry refuses as marriage traditions require him to pay out settlements.
Brenda de Banzie
Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori's mob. A New Year's Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch's casino ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Douglas Fairbanks Jr.,
During the Mahdist insurrection in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, veteran colonial private Baker teams up with freshly arrived gentleman Murchison, trying to evacuate from southern Barash the ... See full summary »
SVENGALI is a British-made version of the classic story about the evil hypnotist who creates a famous singer out of a young and untalented girl. In essence this tale is Rasputin in the music world, and it's quite a fun and eventful storyline.
The main reason to enjoy this film is the performance of Donald Wolfit (BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE) in the title role. He seems to be channelling Bela Lugosi in both look and voice throughout the movie, and his hammy style of acting is a lot of fun; the other actors in the production feel flat by comparison.
The film as a whole isn't perfect - there's a little too much sappy romance going on, and events are never as exciting or dramatic as the producers would hope for - but the lush colours and costumes of the mid 1950s give this the look and feel of an early Hammer Horror outing. Hildegard Knef (later of Hammer's THE LOST CONTINENT) is fine as the youthful protégé, and it's fun to see Terence Morgan (CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB) before he got typecast as the bad guy.
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