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HISTORY

The play had its premiere earlier in London and previewed in Boston on 10 Mar 1895 before the New York opening. This was the first film of the Equitable Motion Pictures Corp. It opened in New York on 6 Sep 1915 at the Forty-fourth St. Theater, with accompaniment by a full orchestra, and music composed by S. L. Rothapfel. The film was re-issued in 1917 by World with new art nouveau titles, and re-issued again in 1920 by the Republic Distributing Corp.
       In 1923, Richard Walton Tully Productions made Trilby , which was distributed by Associated First National Pictures, directed by James Young and starring Andrée Lafayette and Creighton Hale (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921--30 ). In 1931, Warner Bros. made Svengali , partially based on the same source, starring John Barrymore and Marion Marsh, and directed by Archie Mayo (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). In 1955, M-G-M made Svengali , directed by Noel Langley and starring Hildegarde Neff and Donald ... More Less

The play had its premiere earlier in London and previewed in Boston on 10 Mar 1895 before the New York opening. This was the first film of the Equitable Motion Pictures Corp. It opened in New York on 6 Sep 1915 at the Forty-fourth St. Theater, with accompaniment by a full orchestra, and music composed by S. L. Rothapfel. The film was re-issued in 1917 by World with new art nouveau titles, and re-issued again in 1920 by the Republic Distributing Corp.
       In 1923, Richard Walton Tully Productions made Trilby , which was distributed by Associated First National Pictures, directed by James Young and starring Andrée Lafayette and Creighton Hale (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921--30 ). In 1931, Warner Bros. made Svengali , partially based on the same source, starring John Barrymore and Marion Marsh, and directed by Archie Mayo (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ). In 1955, M-G-M made Svengali , directed by Noel Langley and starring Hildegarde Neff and Donald Wolfit. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
ETR
3 Feb 17
p. 634.
Motog
18 Sep 15
p. 581.
Motog
25 Sep 15
p. 639.
MPN
19 Jan 18
p. 412.
MPN
4 Sep 15
p. 55.
MPN
25 Sep 15
pp. 85-86.
MPN
9 Oct 15
p. 53.
MPW
4 Sep 15
p. 1603.
MPW
18 Sep 15
pp. 2010-11.
NYDM
15 Sep 15
p. 32.
NYDM
3 Feb 17
p. 26.
Variety
10 Sep 15
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
WRITER
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel Trilby by George Du Maurier (London, 1894) and the play of the same name by Paul Potter (New York, 15 Apr 1895).
DETAILS
Release Date:
20 September 1915
Copyright Claimant:
Equitable Motion Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
13 September 1915
Copyright Number:
LU6353
Physical Properties:
Silent
Black and White
Length(in reels):
5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Trilby O'Farrell, who models for English artist Little Billie, plans to marry him, but on the night that their engagement is to be announced, the wandering musician Svengali, who met Trilby in Billie's Parisian Latin Quarter studio, hypnotizes her and takes her to England with him. Svengali's power changes Trilby's harsh voice into a beautifully operatic one, and with the help of his pupil Gecko, Svengali molds Trilby into one of Europe's great singers, thus making much money for himself. During the intermission of a performance that Billie, who has returned to England, attends, Svengali, suffering great strain from keeping Trilby under his influence, staggers off stage and dies. When the curtain rises, Trilby's voice returns to her normally untalented one, and she is hooted off the stage. After a party to celebrate Trilby's reunion with Billie, Billie and some friends hear a scream and a fall, as they wait outside Trilby's door for the elevator. They find Trilby dead with the reflected gaze of a life-size portrait of Svengali staring at them in the mirror before which Trilby last ... +


Trilby O'Farrell, who models for English artist Little Billie, plans to marry him, but on the night that their engagement is to be announced, the wandering musician Svengali, who met Trilby in Billie's Parisian Latin Quarter studio, hypnotizes her and takes her to England with him. Svengali's power changes Trilby's harsh voice into a beautifully operatic one, and with the help of his pupil Gecko, Svengali molds Trilby into one of Europe's great singers, thus making much money for himself. During the intermission of a performance that Billie, who has returned to England, attends, Svengali, suffering great strain from keeping Trilby under his influence, staggers off stage and dies. When the curtain rises, Trilby's voice returns to her normally untalented one, and she is hooted off the stage. After a party to celebrate Trilby's reunion with Billie, Billie and some friends hear a scream and a fall, as they wait outside Trilby's door for the elevator. They find Trilby dead with the reflected gaze of a life-size portrait of Svengali staring at them in the mirror before which Trilby last stood. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.