Svengali (1983)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  9 March 1983 (USA)
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An old singer coaches a young woman whom he believes will be the next singing sensation. As she starts off with her career, their bond gets stronger.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zoe Alexander
Eve Swiss
Johnny Rainbow
Pamela Blair ...
Barbara Bryne ...
Mrs. Burns-Rizzo
Ron Weyand ...
Mendy Weindenbaum
Brian Carney ...
Abbot Renfrew
Madeleine Potter ...
Vera Mayer ...
Stuart Charno ...
Peter Boruchowitz ...


An old singer coaches a young woman whom he believes will be the next singing sensation. As she starts off with her career, their bond gets stronger.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

based on novel | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance


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Release Date:

9 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ragazza e il professore  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Anton Bosnyak: Tonight, we will not have a lesson. From now on, I would like to work just once a week.
Zoe Alexander: Why?
Anton Bosnyak: Well... you're at a very good condition now, and... I need a rest.
Zoe Alexander: Well, you've worked harder than I have.
Anton Bosnyak: The young usually don't notice these things.
Zoe Alexander: Not so young. Twenty-two.
Anton Bosnyak: Hehe. Poor old lady.
See more »


Version of Trilby (1923) See more »


One Dream at a Time
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black
See more »

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User Reviews

O'Toole & Foster Match Up
29 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Apparently this was a made for TV movie, anyway, the reason to watch this film is not the riveting storyline or spectacular visuals.

What is good about this movie is seeing O'Toole work his magic. He can take a rather silly re-working of the Pgymalian storyline and almost make it seem like art. He really is a wonder to behold.

Foster is not the actress yet she will become in Accused & Silence of the Lambs but you can certainly see the control starting to take shape. Foster shines when she's standing up to O'Toole's dogmatic ways but she falters in romantic moments with O'Toole, you just don't believe that she has romantic feelings for O'Toole.

Elizabeth Ashley is a bit of a disappointment. I was expecting to see some fire from her but I just kept getting the feeling that she was just so much in awe of working with O'Toole that she came off flat. It's a shame cuz it would have been fun to see Ashley & O'Toole spark...ah well.

Sure, the move is a bit melodramatic at times...OK..but if you're an O'Toole fan, you really should check this out. I don't know if he was nominated for an Emmy for this but he should have been.

Oh and there's a great cameo by Holly Hunter in an early performance before her breakout role in Raising Arizona.

Again, this is not the worst movie you'll ever see. It's just a dated early 80s movie that just happens to have a great part for O'Toole which he makes the most of and it's fun to see Jodi Foster as well in a part that we haven't seen her in over and over again..and don't forget, it's always fun to see an actor using their own voice to sing in a movie!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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