Svengali (1931 film)

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Svengali 1931.JPG
Directed byArchie Mayo
Written byJ. Grubb Alexander
Based onTrilby
1894 novel
by George du Maurier
StarringJohn Barrymore
Music byDavid Mendoza
CinematographyBarney McGill
Edited byWilliam Holmes
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • May 22, 1931 (1931-05-22)
Running time
81 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$498,000[1]
Marian Marsh, Bramwell Fletcher and John Barrymore in Svengali
Marian Marsh and John Barrymore in Svengali

Svengali is a 1931 American pre-Code supernatural drama/horror film produced and distributed by Warner Bros. The film stars John Barrymore and co-stars Marian Marsh. It was directed by Archie Mayo and the screenplay was written by J. Grubb Alexander. It is based on the gothic horror novel Trilby (1894) by George du Maurier. The film was originally released on May 22, 1931. Warner Brothers was so pleased by the box office on this film that the studio hurriedly reteamed Barrymore and Marsh for another horror film The Mad Genius, released on November 7, 1931. The region 1 DVD of Svengali was released on October 17, 2000 by the Roan Group.


Awards and honors[edit]

The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Art Direction by Anton Grot, and one for Best Cinematography by Barney McGill.[2]

Box Office[edit]

According to Warner Bros the film earned $359,000 domestically and $139,000 foreign.[1]


The film survives complete. It was transferred onto 16mm film by Associated Artists Productions[3] in the 1950s and shown on television. This film and The Kennel Murder Case were the two Warner Brothers films that lapsed into the public domain and have been available freely for decades.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c Warner Bros financial information in The William Shaefer Ledger. See Appendix 1, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television, (1995) 15:sup1, 1-31 p 11 DOI: 10.1080/01439689508604551
  2. ^ "NY Times: Svengali". NY Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  3. ^ "Media History Digital Library : Free Texts : Free Download, Borrow and Streaming : Internet Archive".

External links[edit]