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Plagued by uncertainties and worldly desires, five Protestant missionary nuns, led by Deborah Kerr's Sister Clodagh, struggle to establish a school in the desolate Himalayas. All the elements of cinematic arts are perfectly fused in Powell and Pressburger's fascinating study of the age-old conflict between the spirit and the flesh, set against the grandeur of the snowcapped peaks of Kanchenjunga. Criterion is proud to present Black Narcissus in a new Special Edition.
Appropriately enough for a picture named for a flower, Black Narcissus exists in a color-drenched, hothouse atmosphere. The setting is a nunnery in the Himalayas, where sister Deborah Kerr has her hands full with an envious nun (the remarkable Kathleen Byron) and a sardonic Englishman (David Farrar). Director Michael Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, the team responsible for the mid-forties masterpieces A Stairway to Heaven and The Red Shoes, decided to shoot Black Narcissus entirely in the studio, so they could create their own controlled, slightly unreal world. The choice paid off, as both art director Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff won Oscars for their blazing Technicolor work. The climactic sequence--a murder attempt on the cliffs of the cloister--bears special attention, as Powell "set" the sequence to a preexisting musical track, staging it as though it were a piece of visual choreography. Adding a bit of behind-the-scenes tension to the production was the fact that Kerr was the director's ex-mistress, and Byron his current one. "It was a situation not uncommon in show business, I was told," he later wrote, "but it was new to me." --Robert Horton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excellent sur toute la ligne. Produit de première qualité et expédié rapidement ! Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2013 by MFJ
Not up to expectations -- rather dull to tell the truth. Definitely a rental, not a purchase.Published on Oct. 5 2010 by ZybotCRX
A perfect film that uses metaphor, colour, landscape to portray an inner dimension to people previously unavailable to the screen. Pure genius. Read morePublished on Dec 27 2007 by Daniel Goorevitch
Great coluors , views;a bit dark ,at times but overall a fine print. The only wish that the description offerred at the end of the DVD had been transcribed into English. Read morePublished on July 8 2007 by 'Space Captain'
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.
In my opinion, this film's plot was kind of boring and slow. Read more
Not only is this the most erotic British film ever made... it is one of the most erotic films ever and in terms of understanding what IS erotic, is a pre-eminent example of 'less... Read morePublished on Oct. 25 2003 by Ian Muldoon
Visualy perfect, colorful, brilliantly directed and acted. My favorite Criterion Collection DVD. Only gets better with each viewing. Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2003 by J. A. Stankunas
A lot of the people here give this movie glowing reviews, not in small part due to the cinematography. Basically, who cares if the filmwork is pretty if the movie stinks? Read morePublished on July 12 2003 by Amazon Customer
The first time I saw Black Narcissus, I was amazed by the use of light and color. That and the EXTREMELY good use of dialog and atmosphere to convey thoughts to you. Read morePublished on June 19 2003 by Strategos