Svengali | Chicago Reader

Svengali

F.W. Murnau's arrival in Hollywood in 1927 helped to revive the expressionist style in America just as it was dying out in Germany. This 1931 Warner Brothers adaptation of the old tale of a mad hypnotist and his singing protege is filled with fashionably distorted sets and bizarre shadows—but the director, Archie Mayo, is too stiff to exploit them. John Barrymore, unrestrained and very entertaining, plays the title role; with Marian Marsh, Donald Crisp, and Carmel Myers. 75 min.

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