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The working title of this film was Trilby and Svengali. The closing onscreen credits contain the following written acknowledgment: "The producer expresses his grateful appreciation for the magnificent singing voice of Madame Elizabeth Schwarzkopf." According to an April 1954 Variety news item, George Minter's Renown Pictures Corp., Ltd. was suing Robert Newton, who was originally cast as "Svengali," for walking off the set after three weeks of filming. The outcome of that suit has not been determined. According to contemporary sources, Renown had a pre-production arrangement with Loew's, Inc., parent company of M-G-M, to produce and release the film.
English actor Jeremy Brett (1933-1995), best known for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the long-running British-made television series, made his motion picture debut in Svengali. For additional information about films based on George du Maurier's novel, please see the entry for the 1931 Warner Bros. Pictures film Svengali in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40.