Sinister music maestro Svengali can control the actions of women through hypnotism and his telepathic powers. When a pupil he has seduced announces she has left her husband for him, he uses his powers to cause her suicide and promptly forgets her. He meets a beautiful model, Trilby, and becomes infatuated with her, but she, in turn, falls for a young artist called Billee who also loves her. One day Svengali hypnotizes Trilby to cure her headache, but also examines her upper palate and decides it is an ideal cavity for great singing. He convinces her to fake her suicide, so Billee and friends will forget her, and goes on a singing tour with her. Svengali uses his powers to make her sing wonderfully and Madame Svengali, as Trilby is now known, becomes a sensation throughout Europe. But Billee discovers the ruse and begins to follow the pair, upsetting Svengali enough to have him cancel performances too frequently, so they no longer can perform in Europe. They go to Egypt, but Billee ...
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
All Paris desired her, but Svengali owned her!
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Did You Know?
on co-star John Barrymore
] "He was really rather shy. Sometimes, after he would play a scene, everybody would applaud, and he would back into the wall! Always he was so helpful and so inspiring to me, and when you're with the greatest, you have to try to come up to his level. He knew he was doing that... he did it many times before." See more
In the bathtub, Svengali says "Gott strafe England" ("God punish England"). This saying was created by German-Jewish poet Ernst Lissauer (1882-1937) during WWI. However, "Svengali" takes place during the mid 19th century. See more
And where are you going?
Svengali's not running away from you.
Not from me, Taffy, but from his fear of the day when his spell over Trilby will be broken, as it was for a moment last night.
Eh? And what will you do when you catch up with him?
Just wait till the day comes. I'll get her back - - if I have to follow them 'round the world.
Referenced in A Balmy Swami
Music by Sam Perry See more