Black Narcissus (1947)
Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 0
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 6,684
British filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger once again deliberately courted controversy and censorship with their 1947 adaptation of Rumer Godden's novel. Deborah Kerr and Kathleen Byron play the head nuns at an Anglican hospital/school high in the Himalayas. The nuns' well-ordered existence is disturbed by the presence of a handsome British government agent (David Farrar), whose attractiveness gives certain sisters the wrong ideas. Meanwhile, an Indian girl (Jean Simmons) is lured
Aug 1, 1947 Limited
Jan 30, 2001
Universal International Pictur
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There's something truly unearthly about this place of howling winds, yawning chasms and atmosphere thick with temptation. Sanctity, it will be proven, is no match for sin.
Powell's equally extravagant visual style transforms it into a landscape of the mind -- grand and terrible in its thorough abstraction.
Production has gained much through being in color. The production and camerawork atone for minor lapses in the story, Jack Cardiff's photography being outstanding.
Theatre this Michael Powell film most certainly is, as stressed by the gothic melodrama of the story and the acting, the studio setting with its beautiful backdrops and vivid colours and the most deliberate of characters and events.
While Messrs. Powell and Pressburger may have a picture that will disturb and antagonize some, they also have in Black Narcissus an artistic accomplishment of no small proportions.
Michael Powell was right when he called Black Narcissus an "erotic film," but the attraction is pure Pygmalionism.
A 1947 English film classic about the challenges of desire faced by some nuns in a new mission in the Himalayas.
Powell and Pressburger created a film that still feels light years ahead of the opposition.
Sexual tension hangs in the air as the wind blows and native drums beat, but it's on a visual level that the film excels.
In a breakthrough role as the new nun, Deborah Kerr heads a superb cast, including Flora Robson and Jean Simmons, in one of the most stunning color films ever made, deservedly winning the Oscars for cinematography and art design.
Beautiful technicolor film, with a slow-moving, but intriguing plot.
The cinematography is unforgettable.
The cinematography of Narcissus -- notably an ending that must have stuck in Hitchcock's mind for decades -- is to die for, utterly pioneering for its time and deserving of its two Academy Awards), but its story has never totally grabbed me.
Audience Reviews for Black Narcissus
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