Svengali
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The George du Maurier novel Trilby, about a hypnotist who controls a female musician, was originally filmed as Trilby, a 1920s silent. In the 1931 talkie, the emphasis shifts from the music student to the teacher, Svengali. John Barrymore gives a scenery-chewing performance as Svengali, who is originally seen tutoring Honori (Carmel Myers). Trilby (Marian Marsh) is making her living as a nude model, but she wants to use her musical talents to earn money and hopes to settle down with Billee (Bramwell Fletcher). Unfortunately, his upper-class family simply wouldn't approve. Svengali falls… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A peculiar, affecting ode to the tragic lecher"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Movies this old seem to come from another planet."
‑ Scott Weinberg, Apollo Guide
"Vintage old-fashioned psychological melodrama about the evil use of mind-control."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"One of the best -- and most overlooked -- early talkie horror films. Barrymore is magnetic in the lead."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
More reviews for Svengali on Rotten Tomatoes