Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

Director: Emeric Pressburger, Michael Powell Cast: Deborah Kerr, Sabu
4.2 14


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Black Narcissus

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 down the road to perdition by a sensuous general (Sabu). While Kerr would seem most susceptible to fall from grace --we are given hints of her earlier love life in a long flashback--she proves to have more stamina than Byron, who delivers one of moviedom's classic interpretations of all-stops-out, sex-starved insanity. The aforementioned flashback was removed from the US release version of Black Narcissus so as not to offend the Catholic Legion of Decency. While the dramatic content of the film hasn't stood the test of time all that well, the individual performances, production values, and especially the Oscar-winning Technicolor photography of Jack Cardiff are still as impressive as ever.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/20/2010
UPC: 0715515061117
Original Release: 1947
Source: Criterion
Region Code: 1
Sound: [Dolby Digital Mono]
Time: 1:41:00
Sales rank: 2,344

Special Features

Video Introduction by Filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier; ; Audio Commentary featuring Powell and Director Martin Scorsese; ; The Audacious Adventurer, a Video Piece in which Tavernier discusses the film and Powell; ; Profile of "Black Narcissus," a documentary featuring members of the Archers' Production Team; ; Painting with Light, a documentary on Cardiff's Oscar-Winning work in Black Narcissus; Original Theatrical Trailer; Plus: A Booklet featuring an Essay by Critic Kent Jones

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Deborah Kerr Sister Clodagh
Sabu Young Prince
David Farrar Mr. Dean
Kathleen Byron Sister Ruth
Esmond Knight Old General
Flora Robson Sister Philippa
Jean Simmons Kanchi
Jenny Laird Sister 'Honey' Blanche
Judith Furse Sister Briony
Shaun Noble Con
Eddie Whaley Joseph Anthony
Nancy Roberts Mother Dorothea
May Hallatt Angu Ayah
Ley On Phuba

Technical Credits
Emeric Pressburger Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Michael Powell Director,Producer,Screenwriter
George Blackler Makeup
George R. Busby Producer
Jack Cardiff Cinematographer
Christopher G. Challis Camera Operator
W. Percy Day Special Effects
Brian Easdale Score Composer
Hein Heckroth Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Higgins Special Effects
Alfred Junge Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Arthur Lawson Art Director
Reginald Mills Editor
Syd Pearson Special Effects
Ted Scaife Camera Operator
Sydney Streeter Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Black Narcissus
1. Disney's Influence [2:42]
2. Overt Sensuality [5:21]
3. May Hallatt and David Farrar [3:29]
4. Studio vs. Location [7:37]
5. Actors and the War [2:44]
6. Praise for the Art Department [2:54]
7. Deborah Karr/Rumer Godden [5:27]
8. Ophelia and Kanchi [4:45]
9. Flashback Sequence [5:58]
10. Sabu and The Thief of Bagdad [6:34]
11. The King of Comedy [4:15]
12. Working with Brian Easdale [8:40]
13. "A Simple Color Shot" [6:53]
14. "We Were Our Own Bosses" [5:31]
15. Words, Action, and Music [6:45]
16. A Disney and Horror Film [5:55]
17. Rear Window Effect [4:22]
18. Timing is Everything [5:35]
19. Sabu's Grace [5:28]
1. Color Bars [:00]
1. Credits [2:42]
2. The Palace of Mopu [5:21]
3. The General's Announcement [3:29]
4. A New Home [7:37]
5. "You Must be Mr. Dean" [2:44]
6. Drums in the Night [2:54]
7. A Proper Convent [5:27]
8. Kanchi Arrives [4:45]
9. The Sisters Remember [5:58]
10. The Young General [6:34]
11. The Scent of Black Narcissus [4:15]
12. Christmas at St. Faith [8:40]
13. Flowers, Not Vegetables [6:53]
14. A Sick Child [5:31]
15. Sister Clodagh's Confession [6:45]
16. A Sister Escapes [5:55]
17. Breakdown [4:22]
18. Struggle at the Bell Tower [5:35]
19. Farewells [5:28]

Customer Reviews

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Black Narcissus 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A new and technically improved version of the film I did see as a university student. The photography is excellent. The sets and the acting are superior. This film provides a visual and intellectual experience much more above some of the modern noisy box office million getters that are not more than simple money makers.
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