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 <email@example.com>
Weirdest romance ever pictured! With the screen's genius and his new find.
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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 opening scene we see a late C19th pianoforte but we hear a modern (1931) concert grand. See more
Svengali, I've tried to love you, but I...
Ja, ja, ja, ja... But you know very well why you can't. It is the magnificent young Englander. The head of the Purity Brigade. Sir Galahad. This stiff-necked little Billie... What is he, Liebchen? With his silly paints in one hand, and these twiddling brushes of pig's bristles in the other... What does he amount to, compared to Svengali? Ah, he paints his silly pictures and sends them to London, where they hang up on the wall like... dead soldiers on ...
Referenced in Boy Meets Girl
Music by Henry Hadley See more