Svengali

Svengali

Noel Langley (1954)

79min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
George du Maurier's novel Trilby, on which this film is based, was notorious in the late Victorian era for its overblown sexuality, telling the story of a manipulative music teacher/hypnotist called Svengali and a beautiful Irish artist's model called Trilby O'Ferrall who falls under his baleful spell. Set in Paris, it's a story of sexual jealousy that, in this version, conforms to censorship demands of the time and is less suggestive than the 1931 John Barrymore film (itself a remake of a 1915 silent). However, it's worth seeing for Donald Wolfit hamming away for all he's worth as the menacing Svengali. The unfortunate Trilby is played by Hildegarde Neff, who brings off the difficult last scene superbly.

Summary

British remake of the 1931 American adaptation of George du Maurier's novel, chronicling the adventures of an artist's model in 19th-century Paris who becomes an opera star thanks to the influence of a sinister mesmerist. Donald Wolfit, Hildegarde Neff, Harry Secombe and Alfie Bass star.

Cast & Crew

Trilby O'Ferrall Hildegarde Neff
Svengali Donald Wolfit
Billy Bagot Terence Morgan
The Laird Derek Bond
Taffy Paul Rogers
Gecko David Kossoff
Durien Hubert Gregg
Patrick O'Ferrall Noel Purcell
Carrell Alfie Bass
Barizel Harry Secombe
Director Noel Langley
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Renown Picture CorpAvailable on: DVD
Drama