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 »
When she has a fight, with her husband, Lucy runs out of the house, and into a night of terror. She heads for the local cinema, and in doing so, becomes the only eyewitness to a couple of ... See full summary »
A vicious gang of crooks plan to steal the wages of a local factory, but their carefully laid plans go wrong, when the factory employs an armoured van to carry the cash. The gang still go ... See full summary »
Robert Newton was originally hired to play Svengali with a specific clause in the contract about the actor's drinking, but after a few days of shooting his erratic behavior resulted in his being replaced by Donald Wolfit. Newton fled to Australia where he filmed The Adventures of Long John Silver (1955), but when he returned he found himself facing a $375,000 breach of contract suit from the producers. See more »
If you choose you can put all that nonsense behind you forever.
And do what, starve?
Not if you put your trust in me absolutely, not if you do exactly what I tell you to do.
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Opening credits prologue: Paris The Latin Quarter at the turn of the Century See more »
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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