7 user 19 critic

Svengali (2013)

Unrated | | Comedy, Music | 21 March 2014 (UK)
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 »




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Credited cast:
... Don
... Natasha
... Angie
... Macca
... Jeremy Braines
... Shell
... Tommy
... Francine Hardy
... Irish Pierre
... Foh girl
... Alice
... Teddy
... Homes
... Jake
... Katya


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 in the world. Svengali is a feel-good British comedy with a heart of gold and a soundtrack to match. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Life, Love and a Band. Can He Manage It?


Comedy | Music


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Release Date:

21 March 2014 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

I Will Rock You  »

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Did You Know?


The Don's Records scene is filmed at Out on the Floor Records, Inverness Street, Camden. See more »


When Dixie is getting on the train to go back to London from Wales, the time can clearly be seen on the electronic board as 11.02am. As the train pulls out, a different board shows a partially obscured time, but one which is clearly just after 10am. See more »


Referenced in Soccer AM: Episode dated 1 March 2014 (2014) See more »


Can't Stand Me Now
Performed by The Libertines
Written by Pete Doherty, Carl Barât, Richard Hammerton
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User Reviews

Straightforward Tale of Thwarted Ambition
10 August 2014 | by See all my reviews

SVENGALI tales a straightforward tale of a would-be band manager Dixie (Jonny Owen) traveling up from his home in the Welsh valleys to manage a band. The band achieved a certain notoriety (pace the Sex Pistols) and secure a BBC recording session as well as numerous offers of recording contracts. Dixie tries his best to keep them under control, but finds the strain too much and eventually returns home with his girlfriend Shell (Vicky McClure). This film is very much a one-person show: Owen not only stars in it, but wrote the script and produced it. Director John Hardwick keeps the action going at a brisk pace, and there is some atmospheric cinematography by Catherine Derry, contrasting the lonely Welsh and Scottish rural locations with the urban squalor of central London. The film makes some trenchant points about the difficulties of surviving in the Smoke, especially when Dixie and Shell have to deal with a formidable central European landlady (Katy Brand). There are some memorable cameos by Martin Freeman as a record-shop owner and Maxine Peake as his long-suffering spouse desperately trying to prevent her husband from losing his temper. The story is a familiar one, but Owen turns in a winning central performance as Dixie: after what he experiences in trying to keep the band together, as well as dealing with a series of rapacious characters including loan-shark Teddy (Eddie Webber) and vamp Natasha (Natasha O'Keeffe), it's not surprising that he wants to return to the comparative security of home. In his final film before his untimely death, Brian Hibbard turns in a memorable cameo as Dixie's Dad; the scene where father and son talk to one another on a wind-swept Welsh mountain is particularly affecting.

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