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Black Narcissus [Blu-ray]

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar, Flora Robson, Esmond Knight
  • Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 4 Aug. 2014
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00I8LOGZI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,357 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

An award-winning, tense, psychological drama, Black Narcissus was written, produced and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, two of the most influential and acclaimed film-makers of all time. Sumptuously shot in Technicolor by Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff and showcasing a career-defining performance from Deborah Kerr, Black Narcissus is featured here in a High Definition transfer made from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

Sister Clodagh leads a group of Anglican nuns to a remote Himalayan range of mountains, there to set up a mission in an abandoned harem. In her first position of authority, she finds both her physical and spiritual limits being stretched as she tries to maintain order and discipline in a claustrophobically hostile environment. The extremes of climate and the peculiar amorality of the local natives all combine to slowly corrupt the women's faith, pushing them further into jealousy, anger and madness...

SPECIAL FEATURES (Standard Definition unless otherwise noted)
[] Audio Commentary with Michael Powell and Martin Scorsese
[] Original theatrical trailer [HD]
[] Painting with Light: a documentary on Jack Cardiff
[] A Profile of Black Narcissus featurette
[] Extensive image galleries [HD]
[] Original promotional material PDFs
[] Commemorative booklet

From Amazon.co.uk

In spite of their patriotism and love of Britain, Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger remain the most "un-British" of movie makers. Much of this has to do with the almost hyper-real, super-intensity of their films, in terms of their editing, the soundtracks and their peculiar colour schemes. This is especially the case with Black Narcissus. A group of Catholic British nuns invited by an Indian ruler to open a hospital in the Himalayas. However, the strain of exposure to the elements, to the native culture and to the broody, handsome presence of British agent David Ferrar, tell on the sisters. It's all Deborah Kerr can do to hold on to her vows, as she she is tormented by memories of a lost love in Ireland. Kathleen Byron's more hysterical nun is made of less stern stuff and succumbs, leaving the order and going mad with lust for Ferrar. The final confrontation between the two, maroon Byron versus white Kerr atop a belltower, is reminiscent of Eisenstein and also prefigures the climax to Hitchcock's Vertigo. The (award-winning) cinematography is the true star of this film. --David Stubbs --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
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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Format: VHS Tape
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
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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Format: DVD
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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