Svengali ~ 1931 -BW

QUICKIE: Look deep into my eyes..... now sing baby, SING! .....Uh, owie.

PLOT: Sinister music maestro Svengali (John Barrymore) 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 to commit suicide and then he promptly forgets her. He meets a beautiful model, Trilby (Marian Marsh), and becomes infatuated with her, but she, in turn, falls for a young artist called Billee (Bramwell Fletcher) 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 hypnotizes her to fake her suicide, and marry him. Svengali uses his powers to make her sing wonderfully and Madame Svengali becomes a sensation throughout Europe. The constant hypnotism takes a toll on Svengali's health, yet he hides it well. At a performance 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.

SUMMARY: This is a phenomenal movie. Great acting, great story, cool cinematography. Really worth the watch, and don't watch the 1983 remake with yucky Jodie Foster. Gag. She can't hold a candle to everything Marian Marsh brings to the character. Beauty, charm, grace, innocence and vulnerability. I can't believe Jodie could be hypnotized, and I can never "forget" the star, or she's always Clarice to me. John Barrymore is THE man. He's an amazingly good actor, and amusing to boot. That beard is so funny looking I can't take my eyes off it. He has the presence of a real star, yet we get lost in the character because he is such a GOOD actor. Unlike Jodie Foster. Have I mentioned I don't like her? And look at how HUGE the hallways are in those Paris studios. And the costumes! A definite classic. Watch it, you'll love it.

Family Collection: Disc 55 - side B

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