Black Narcissus is directed by Micheal Powell and Emeric Pressburger, who both adapt the screenplay form Rumer Godden's novel of the same name. It stars Deborah Kerr, Sabu, Jean Simmons, David Farrar, Flora Robson and Kathleen Byron. Music is scored by Brain Easdale and cinematography by Jack Cardiff.
A group of nuns travel to the Himalayas to set up a school and hospital at the disused Palace of Mopu. Once set up high in the mountains, some of the nuns find themselves seduced by the atmospheric sensuality of the place. Which spells trouble as inner demons start to seep out.
I haven't got much of a review here for you, it really would be redundant due to the widespread availability of detailed works written about the film over the years. Besides which, I can only really agree with 99% of what has been said about the film before. Is there anything new that can be said? I don't think so, really I don't.
Black Narcissus is an experience, a sort of ode to spiritual cinema and a bastion of visual splendour. Some call it a masterpiece, others say it's just shy of being as such, but either way a vast majority of film lovers agree it's film making of considerable skill.
Negatively, however small in the grand scheme of things, it's thin on story and a couple of our lead nun protagonists here are actually too filmy and pretty; I mean I don't intend to insult the thousands of real nuns in the world, but none are surely as foxy as Kerr and Byron as presented here?! You can kind of tell it's the meeting of a visualist and a story teller trying to find a common ground, but the visualist (Powell) holds sway for this one and film lovers the world over are all the better for it.
With a spitfire on form cast, matte paintings and Technicolor so beautiful that eye orgasms are guaranteed, and sensual suspense dripping from the roof, Black Narcissus is landmark British film making. Brought to us by two directors whose every plaudit is definitely justified. 9/10