• Eric

    ★★★★★ Watched by Eric 02 Apr, 2009

    In the 1940s, the British filmmaking duo of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger completed a series of masterpieces in what was their most prolific decade. Although A Matter of Life and Death can more accurately be described as the first film in which Powell, Pressburger, and cinematographer Jack Cardiff utilized color as a means of expressing the interior emotions of a character, perhaps no singular effort is more emblematic of their collective talents than Black Narcissus. As a film very…

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  • Raúl Cornejo

    ★★★★★ Watched by Raúl Cornejo 18 Mar, 2014

    Deborah Kerr / Kathleen Bryon / Jean Simmons, viento y Jack Cardiff

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  • Kurosawa

    ★★★★★ Watched by Kurosawa 11 Mar, 2014

    I had never watched this before and sitting down to watch a film about a convent of nuns in India was not what I had in mind for this evening. But in the end, 1947's "Black Narcissus" will be the film that sets me off on a Powell/Pressburger viewing spree. It will also become my new high mark for cinematography - ha! new? it's from 1947!!
    Jack Cardiff's Technicolor cinematography and Alfred Junge's design make every frame absolutely exquisite.
    And…

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  • SJHoneywell

    ★★★★★ Added by SJHoneywell

    When Sister Ruth goes
    Mad, she brings the crazy with
    Bells and tin whistles!

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  • Josh Spiegel

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by Josh Spiegel 19 Feb, 2014

    1. I wish more filmmakers utilized color as Powell and Pressburger do, instead of seemingly taking it for granted. This is one of the great joys of watching older films from the time when Technicolor was new: it was a time of experimentation and dazzling practical artistry. There are the obvious moments: Sister Ruth gleefully and painstakingly putting on lipstick after she renounces her vows to Sister Clodagh's horror; the smash-cut to bright pink flowers; and so on. In general,…

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  • loureviews

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by loureviews 03 Feb, 2014 2

    Back from my first viewing of this film on the big screen, thanks to the BFI's Passport to Cinema series.

    A huge bubbling cauldron of melodrama, this Technicolor triumph from The Archers succeeds in making us feel as if we are in the overheated Indian atmosphere with Pinewood sets and exquisite matte paintings, and the fetishistic and sensual photography makes everyone look beautiful and interesting.

    Little details make this film great - not just Ruth slowly putting on her lipstick,…

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  • irajoel

    ★★★★★ Added by irajoel

    One of the most beautiful color film ever made. This is the one about all those nuns stuck in some remote palace in the Himalayas. The group lead by Deborah Kerr all have problems, but Kathleen Byron in a great performance as the demented sister Ruth takes the cake. Dreamlike and surreal this for me is the film of the year, in a great year for movies that saw among other things the apex of film noir. The film was…

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  • Octavio Luna-Mingura

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by Octavio Luna-Mingura 12 Aug, 2013

    I have to make this admission that I've never seen any of the Powell & Pressburger films on the pretense that these were beautifully shot boring movies; and after seeing Narcissus for the first time, I'm happy to report that not only is this one of the most beautifully shot films I ever seen, but also one of the most expressive and inventive melodramas ever committed to the art of filmmaking. I mean, there were some scenes in this film where I was genuinely floored by the beautiful cinematography and the impressive production design!

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  • Adam Redman

    ★★★★★ Watched by Adam Redman 27 Dec, 2013

    Another major artistic work by the Archers, Jack Cardiff's work in particular remains a high watermark in the history of Technicolor cinematography.

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  • QED

    ★★★★★ Watched by QED 20 Dec, 2013

    Directed by Powell and Pressburger this film based on the novel of the same name stars Deborah Kerr, Sabu, Jean Simmons and David Farrar. A group of nuns travel to a remote community in the Himalayas to set up a new convent.

    While there are some differences between the novel and the film the film does an excellent job of filling the film with implied sexual tension and temptation without offending anyone by the delicate subject matter. The story works…

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  • Pat

    ★★★★★ Rewatched by Pat 02 Dec, 2013

    Powell & Pressburger play with character identity in a way filmmakers rarely do. The best-known example of this is Deborah Kerr in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp playing three women in Candy's life. Here in Black Narcissus, they use the fact that most of the main characters are nuns, dressed exactly the same, to their advantage. At times, Kerr and Kathleen Byron, who plays Sister Ruth, look shockingly similar. This becomes especially apparent when Sister Ruth decides to leave…

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  • FernandoFCroce

    ★★★★★ Added by FernandoFCroce 16

    The theme is from Forster and I Know Where I’m Going!, worked out "at the back of the beyond" by The Archers at their most carnal-bonkers-sublime. The old harem known as "the House of Women" is perched on the edge of Himalayan precipices, turning it into "the House of St. Faith" is the mission accepted by the Irish Sister Superior (Deborah Kerr) and her Anglican order. Quite a challenge for sanctity: There are howling winds up above and drums in…

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