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Black Narcissus [Criterion Collection] [Blu-ray] [1947]

Release Date:07/20/2010
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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (2 out of 2)

    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


    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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Deborah Kerr
      Deborah Kerr - Sister Clodagh
    • Sabu
      Sabu - Young Prince
    • David Farrar
      David Farrar - Mr. Dean
    • Kathleen Byron
      Kathleen Byron - Sister Ruth
    • Esmond Knight
      Esmond Knight - Old General

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.