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Classic Hollywood Films
 Svengali  (1931)
[Model A2Z-DVD-20065] [UPC 882012420065]
Includes Limited Public Performance Rights - Distributed by

In Stock $9.95

Running Time: 81 Minutes

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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 relentlessly follows. Written by Arthur Hausner {}

Running Time: 81 Minutes
MPAA Ratings: PG


A music master mesmerizes a young model into becoming his wife and a concert singer in this adaptation of George Du Maurier's novel Trilby.

In Paris Svengali (John Barrymore) is giving a singing lesson to a woman, who has just left her husband for him. Svengali asks her what her husband left her. When he discovers she came to him with no settlement at all, he gazes at her intently until she departs in terror. His servant Gecko tells him that her body was found dead in the river and that they need the rent money. Svengali and Gecko call on two English painters who are taking a bath. They throw the Polish music master in the bath and take his clothes;but Svengali puts on Taffy's best suit and departs with the money hidden in the pocket.

At the artist's studio Svengali meets a pretty model named Trilby O'Farrell (Marian Marsh) and discovers she has a fine singing voice. Trilby gets to know the painters and says yes to young Billee (Bramwell Fletcher). She tells Svengali she has a headache, and he takes it away by hypnotizing her. Soon Billee gets a letter from Trilby saying he will never see her again. Police have found her clothes on the banks of the Seine.

Five years later Madam Svengali is receiving great applause on her concert tour of Europe. The three English painters are turned away from the stage door, but Billee sees Trilby coming out. She greets him happily until Svengali gives her the eye;then she tells Billee he was mistaken. Trilby thanks Svengali, but he says that she does not love him. After he hypnotizes her, she does say that she loves him;but he knows it is only another part of himself. Billee goes after the Svengalis, and Svengali cancels one performance after another, saying he is sick until they can no longer get a concert in Europe.

Trilby is to appear with dancing girls in an Egyptian cafe, and Svengali almost cancels again;but he tells Billee this is going to be Trilby's last concert. He hypnotizes her;but during the concert he collapses, and then she does too. Svengali asks to have the woman in death he could not have in life, and they both die.

This story shows the mutual dependence of a domineering personality over a submissive one. Svengali can control Trilby, but in that control he cannot experience her own love. Having taken her love for Billee away from her, he is left with nothing but his own psychic power and death.

"Svengali" is a great movie;the art direction, camera work and lighting is top notch, as is the performance by Barrymore. No bad ratings there - the movie is ace, and should (in my opinion) really be on par with some other classical horror movies like "Dracula" and "Frankenstein" when it comes to popularity and availability! Per Lundberg "Perperov"

John Barrymore is excellent as Svengali and pretty Marian Marsh is utterly charming as Trilby. The film has a very bohemian look and feel to it which is one of the reasons why you should enjoy it. The expressionistic sets were by Anton Grot and there is the famous striking miniature set of the rooftops of Paris that the camera tracks over in the classic scene where Svengali wills Trilby from her apartment to his one stormy midnight. Warner Brothers paired Barrymore and Marsh once again in "The Mad Genius" which is a rather adult, pre-code story with Barrymore just as menacing as he is in "Svengali", but not the demoniac that he is in this film. Johnny 5


Directed by
Archie Mayo

Written by
J. Grubb Alexander
George L. Du Maurier

John Barrymore
Marian Marsh
Donald Crisp
Bramwell Fletcher
Carmel Myers
Luis Alberni
Lumsden HAre
Paul Porcasi

Best Art Direction - Nominated
Best Cinematography Nominated

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General Packaging Description:Our professionally-produced DVDs are shipped in retail Amaray style DVD cases just like you would find in a store. These beautifully packaged DVDs make great gifts and are themselves works of art. While we offer some of the best prices anywhere, we have never sacrificed quality for price.

Product Details
Video Run Time - 81 Minutes
Video Format - NTSC
Aspect Ratio - 4:3 Standard
Region Code - Worldwide
Packaging Type - Amaray
Audio Languages - English
Release Date - 1931
UPC - 882012420065
Category Listing
A2ZCDS Feature Films
Distributed By Travelvideostore Com
Travel Video Producers > A2Zcds
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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 16 April, 2015.
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