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23 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Powell & Pressburger Masterpiece
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's 1947 masterpiece Black Narcissus was probably the most revolutionary, innovative and daring film of the period (certainly of British films) and still stands up well today. When the Archers (the name under which P&P made their films) raised the proposed subject matter of the film (a group of nuns, sexual repression, murder, etc)...
Published on 19 Dec 2011 by Keith M

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3.0 out of 5 stars I can't quite make my mind up about this film
I'm a huge fan of Powell & Pressburger; superb film-makers in a golden age of British cinema; but this is a very odd film. Possibly, it's one of their less well known productions; A Matter of Life & Death & Colonel Blimp are probably their most notable films. This is a strange tale, tense & involving, but somehow not quite fully fleshed out. Kathleen Byron's increasingly...
Published 9 months ago by Mr M.R.Watkinson


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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic, 20 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is a great edge of your seat film, to watch with your feet up on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic for all time, 1 July 2013
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
after repeated veiwings it never fails to impress.The Jack Cardiff photography impresses as it was all shot in studio.A valued addition to my collection
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5.0 out of 5 stars OTT - yes, and love it!, 18 Jun 2013
By 
David Alford "cinefan" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Overwrought and up the mountains - though David Lean swapped the Himalayas for Pinewood - this is an irresistible tale of nuns leading an isolated existence in a convent and, what with one temptation or another, giving way to doubts about their vocation, one of them at least actually going quite bonkers: a terrific film to watch, the script, design and music all meshing quite perfectly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Item, at bargain price, 25 May 2013
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Great Item, at bargain price, ordered one day, here the next morning. It made a great and appreciated gift for me to give.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid Isolation, 25 Oct 2008
By 
JEY (Largs, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
In a nutshell, a bunch of Nuns are faced with their inner demons up in the Himalayas.

I have to admit, this is by far my favourite Powell and Pressburger movie. I've seen this so many times and I never get sick of it. It's a beautiful and haunting depiction of isolation, temptation, repression and the consequential descent into madness because of it. The last ten minutes has stuck in my mind for life.

Powerful imagery and well worth watching.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nun but the brave, 23 Feb 2013
This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is a beautiful Archers' collaboration in every sense. The technicolour studio set of the Himalayas, the quality acting, the plotline, all this made for a real masterpiece. Deborah Kerr has that peaches and cream complexion which even a nun's habit cannot conceal. The metamorphosis of Hathleen Byron (remember her as the celestial receptionist in 'A matter of Life and Death')from seclusion into a sexually repressed Fury is seen against the remarkable tranquillity of Kerr (who reprised her role as a nun in 'Heaven knows, Mr Alison'). My quibbles are minor. I felt that Jean Simmons was totally miscast as the Indian girl, while Sabu strives too hard to please. David Farrar, as the local agent and the target of Byron's affections, was a paragon of English indifference who treated the nuns with a fair degree of cynicism. Jack Cardiff won an Oscar for his superb cinematography. If you enjoyed watching Deborah Kerr in 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, you will certainly repeat the experience here.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning film!, 19 July 2011
This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
The opening sequences include the focus on some wall pictures that convey a former erotic function for the palace; a euphemism for a windswept compound on the shelf of a mountain. Ian Bannan, a Scottish actor, once referred to Deborah Kerr as "that lassie frae Helensburgh"; a posh town near Glasgow. Her performance is something to behold, particularly in the confines of a nun's habit. Consequently, the acting is often like in the silent movies; sudden head movement and expressive eyes, captured in the camera. Jean Simmons (an English rose in normal life) is a revelation in her role. It's as if the House of Women, as the palace was once known, is affecting some of the nuns. The photography and the colour are stunning (Jack Cardiff). Mr Dean (David Farrar) is a strong, masculine presence. He is uncouth at times yet strangely sympathetic to the nuns' plight. There is love; both unrequited (the worst kind) and acknowledged, with such gentleness and from a surprising source. It's a stunning film!

Ian Hunter.
Author of `e-Love'.
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12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 1947 classic, 7 Oct 2007
By 
Four Violets (Hertford UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I loved this film and its a great choice for a wet afternoon in with a box of chocs. I probably loved it for all the wrong reasons though. A posse of nuns is sent to live in a windswept mountain kingdom, in a former harem palace. Its supposed to be the Himalayas though the film makers seem confused over whether the locals should be black, brown, play tom toms or blow horns.

The howling wind and problems with the "natives", together with the nuns' own frustrations and repressions, sets the scene for frenzied high drama. Enigmatic "Mr Dean" strides around dressed in some bizarre outfits resembling lederhosen, presumably to get the nuns going with his manly legs. A young general camps it up in emeralds and is seduced by a local hussy. They all ride tiny horses that could be picked up and carried under your arm and every day a gong has to be sounded, naturally placed right on the edge of a mile high precipice.

Mr Dean with his pipe and sardonic smile sends crazy Sister Ruth into a frenzy, and she remembers that she has packed her make up and killer seductress outfit! Cue plenty of wedges of light over eyes - eek! she's mad! And madly jealous of Sister Clodagh, the one who speaks really posh! Mr Dean knocks over a chair - ah! he's drunk! Sister Clodagh is indignant and cutting - obviously fancies him like mad but has taken vows after being spurned by a previous boyfriend - cue flashbacks to a previous life.

The gong on the edge of the precipice witnesses a tragedy, and as Mr Dean had predicted, the nuns leave before the rains. Great fun.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This was a Christmas present for my mother-in-law and she was made up with it, she watched it years ago and didn't think she would be able to get it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic story, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Great actors, great acting. Passion and tension all the way through the story. Classic film at its best and one you'll enjoy watching over and over.
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Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998]
Black Narcissus [1946] [DVD] [1998] by Deborah Kerr (DVD - 2005)
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