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

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

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) »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

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Details

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Release Date:

9 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La ragazza e il professore  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Anton Bosnyak: Well done, little one.
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Connections

Version of Svengali (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

One Dream at a Time
Music by John Barry
Lyrics by Don Black
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User Reviews

 
SVENGALI (TV) (Anthony Harvey, 1983) ***
23 January 2010 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The significant alterations to the original source i.e. George Du Maurier's classic Victorian chiller, TRILBY (a novel which I have had the pleasure of reading for myself a few years ago) may perhaps put off some purists from giving this solid film adaptation a fair chance: for starters, the story here is not set in the art milieu of end-of-the-century Paris but in the dog-eat-dog world of the New York pop scene; the main characters are not even called Svengali, Trilby and Billy but have become Anton Bosnyak, Zoe Alexander and Johnny Rainbow; perfectionist taskmaster and rebellious pupil not only match wits word-for-word but genuinely fall in love!; 'Svengali' proves to his by-now established protégé that she does not need his influence to succeed!!; the teacher does not die in the end but, in fact, is seen taking on a new pupil under his wings, etc. Consequently, since hypnotism and kidnapping do not form part of the plot here, it cannot even be considered a horror film and, technically, I should not have included it in this ongoing Halloween Challenge…but, of course, I did not know about that before watching the thing! Anyway, that the film succeeds regardless is a testament to the acting talents of Peter O'Toole (nobody does flamboyant eccentrics like this formidable British thespian – whom I have had the privilege of watching live on London's renowned "The Old Vic" theater in the Summer of 1999 – and, therefore, perfect casting as the Svengali figure), Jodie Foster (at 21, she is totally capable of holding her own ground in her scenes with O'Toole – and she possesses a fine, raspy singing voice to boot), Elizabeth Ashley (a welcome addition to the mix as a former unsuccessful student of O'Toole's that has instead found her calling as a talent scout) and the music of John Barry (Foster keeps singing the same three songs throughout the picture but, at least, they're quite decent). It should also be noted that the film reunites both O'Toole and Barry with their own taskmaster on THE LION IN WINTER (1968) i.e. Anthony Harvey and that future Oscar-winner Holly Hunter makes a brief appearance early on as a nymphomaniac backing vocalist!


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