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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2008
I have previously bought this wonderful film on laserdisc from Criterion and I have loved it and thought the transfer was good, even though colour strips weren't 100% synced. It has become one of my very favourite movies and the partnership of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger one of my all time favourite director/writer team (Life and Death of Coronel Blimp and the Red Shoes are also totally wonderful).

Before I saw this movie again on this Blu-ray I had no idea that it could as awazing as it did on this release. Not only were the colours even more vibrant than ever, but the detail in the picture was staggering. I can now see all the detail in the walls, costumes and props. Alfred Junge got the Oscar for production design on this movie and it is understandable now more than ever. Everything looked totally breathtaking and I could now, more than ever, understand the distraction and beauty that make the nuns forget what they were doing. This is also thanks to the wonderful photography of Jack Cardiff, who won the Oscar for it. His use of colors and the lighting are nothing short of brilliant. When viewing the film it is hard to believe that everything was shot at Pinewood studios, save for some shots from the English countryside. It is a lesson to filmmakers nowadays that you can make a believable movie totally in the studio.
The documentary "The profile of Black Narcissus" is included and is quite informative and interesting, featuring interviews with several of the people who made it, including Jack Cardiff and Kathleen Byron. Is is presented in 576p, so some people with a TV that doesn't support this resolution may have problems viewing it. The Blu-ray is also region free.
If you haven't seen the movie before and are interested in the old way of moviemaking then I totally recommend this magnificent picture.
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on 14 August 2000
The film covers the time that a small group of nuns occupy an old house at the top of a chasm in the "east" (I'd guess Tibet). The new convent is to be called "St Faith". The rarified air and stupendous views cause crises for many of the nuns (you knew it would, really) and the film covers their conflicts, internal and external.
Powell & Pressburger have made every image a photograph worth printing - they won an oscar for best Cinematography. The view from the convent is as stunning for us viewers as it for Sister Clodagh (et al). The crises aren't stock ones - they vary from madness (chillingly portrayed) to the gardening nun planting flowers, instead of vegetables.
My favourite scene would be the flashbacks of Sister Clodagh, reliving her life with her fiancé prior to the order. One scene has her calling out his name as she leaves the house and stepping into absolute blackness...
Come back, Powell & Pressburger! We need you
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on 28 August 2015
A magnificent, sublime, unique work of art where strong feelings, hidden dramas and powerful film-making mix together like rarely happened in cinema history, creating an almost unreal and mysterious story.
Black Narcissus is not another old style melodrama, but a provocative and yet true and passionate tale of solitude, attraction, sanctity and visual-storytelling. It is like a completely different world where you feel amazed from start to end and yet feel in a way involved because it talks about universal things in a very unique way.
The blu ray is great and perfectly shows the beauty of the incredible scenes and photography of the film, which is one of Powell and Pressburger's best ones, meaning one of Cinema absolute masterpieces.
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on 4 August 2014
A film like this deserves a good Blu-ray transfer & it got it with this version. The picture is sharp & the colours are vivid. Its hard to believe this was shot at Pinewood studios & not in the Himalayas. I won't say much about film as it has been well covered already. This version is well worth adding to any collection.
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on 13 December 2015
This is a classic and wonderful film, shot entirely in the studio but completely convincing as a Himalayan setting. Graced by great performances, script and direction this should be in the collection of all cinema lovers.
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on 5 January 2002
Deberah Kerr is placed in charge of a crumbling abbey and a handful of difficult nuns on a terribly remote mountain in India. Staunch Christianity and Eastern Mysticism smack reverberatingly against each other, as these supposedly pious and pure nuns struggle against human desires and the pegan seductivesness around them. Deberah Kerr is magnificent and watch for the small supporting role by jean simmons who sparkles as a fallen but temptingly beautiful waif they take in.
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on 29 March 2016
Was expecting a more 'smouldering' film with the nuns fighting their natural cravings against their strict doctrine of celibacy. Deborah Kerr looked absolutely beautiful. The picture quality was superb - Network have done a superb restoration job on this film. The set pieces are breathtaking. At times it is really hard to believe that the entire film was shot at Pinewood studios. Comes complete with a fascinating booklet.
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on 16 March 2002
This movie deserves it's high reputation, but the film is badly let down by the quality of the transfer. It appears to have been made from a copy which predates the BFI/NFTA restoration of the mid-eighties - which did the film full justice - the colour often looks washed out and the image appears less sharp than one would expect. Best to wait for a new edition, or a Television screening.
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on 10 March 2011
This 2010 Criterion edition NTSC Region 1 DVD is from a restored high definition transfer. Both the picture and the sound are superb. The picture is pristine. The disc is extremely well presented and comes with a very good booklet. There is a range of truly worthwhile extras on the disc. The quality of this edition is far, far above average in all respects. If you want to see Black Narcissus at its best then get this version or its blu-ray counterpart.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 August 2015
Lying in bed now at 2am, neighbours' lovemaking woke me up. Watched this film on 120" projection last night. Image quality too good; I could see the joins for those landscape effects. I have been pondering it's reason for being. Made in 1946 it is clearly for women.

Empowered women during the war coming to terms with peace. But the movie is all about revelations. The return of the past. The inability to adapt to different, radically different environment. Most of all it is a stunning trip to the pictures. Images, especially emotional close-ups, hit you hard.

As well as women knowing their place after the freedom of strange times, I think colonial/Imperial instincts are being reigned in. They were changing times. Colour film underlines it.
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