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||IMDB Rating: 8.0/10 from 18 votes
||Release: 10 October 1947 (Netherlands) /
||Stars: David Farrar, Deborah Kerr, Eddie Whaley Jr., Esmond Knight, Flora Robson, Jean Simmons, Jenny Laird, Judith Furse, Kathleen Byron, Ley On, May Hallatt, Nancy Roberts, Sabu, Shaun Noble
||Synopsis: Sister Clodagh, currently posted at the Convent of the Order of the Servants of Mary in Calcutta, has just been appointed the Sister Superior of the St. Faith convent, making her the youngest sister superior in the order. The appointment is despite the reservations of the Reverend Mother who believes Sister Clodagh not ready for such an assignment, especially because of its isolated location. The convent will be a new one located in the mountainside Palace of Mopu in the Himalayas, and is only possible through the donation by General Todo Rai of Mopu - The Old General - of the palace, where the Old General's father formerly kept his concubine. On the Old General's directive, the convent is to provide schooling to the children and young women, and general dispensary services to all native residents who live in the valley below the palace. Accompanying Sister Clodagh will be four of the other nuns, each chosen for a specific reason: Sister Briony for her strength, Sister Phillipa who ... Written by Huggo
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As time goes by,Powell and Pressburger's movies become more and more
important and crucial in the evolution of the seventh art.The first
time I 'd seen "black narcissus" I had missed the whole point:this is
the kind of film you've got to see several times.
Five nuns are leaving their Calcutta convent for a mission in the
Himalaya mountains.In this place,where the wind never stops
blowing,they will settle in an old "palace".These nuns have faith,they
believe in what they are doing ,be it teaching,nursing,educating,or
carrying the word of God.But their faith will clash with a thousand
-tear-old wisdom(the Holy Man),a population who mixes up religion with
magic,and Mister Dean, a Bunuelesque pragmatic man.
The natives will not change,but the nuns will.Their faith gets still
tangled in prejudices;two examples:
-A young noble man wants to study in the mission.When sister Clodagh
(Kerr) refuses,he points his finger at the crucifix and says "Wasn't HE
a man?"" He took the shape of a man" the baffled nun answers.
-Sister Clodagh wants to get rid of the Holy Man,who spends his time
gazing upon the world around him."What would Jesus Christ have done?"
Dean ironically asks her.
After hearing sister Philippa's (Flora Robson)worried
confidences,sister Clodagh feels that her past is coming back to haunt
her.The flashbacks are extraordinary,dreamlike and a bit eerie.Clodagh
comes to the door to meet her fiancé ,there's only darkness.The past
and the present are worlds apart,in time and in space and seem to be
two unconnected ones .It recalls the real world and the beyond in "a
matter of life and death" (1946).And the infinite space of the 1946
work is here the highest mountains in the world.By the same token,the
hunting with hounds flashback forecasts "gone to earth" (1949).Powell
and Pressburger are real auteurs who build a coherent work.
The nuns actually discover that they are women made of flesh and
blood.One of them,sister Ruth goes as far as falling in love with Dean
and relinquishes religion.The night scene during which she paints her
lips against a hellish backdrop in front of a terrified sister Clodagh
is a riveting tour de force that even Luis Bunuel did not equal.The
fighting around the (hell) bell between a white Clodagh and an all
dressed in black Ruth will leave you on the edge of your seat.
There are so many things to say about "black narcissus":Jean Simmons
appears in a silent ,but vicious part.This is probably Deborah Kerr's
towering performance,and she's only on the threshold of a brilliant
career -she will play a nun once more in John Huston's "heaven knows
mister Allison" ,but although I do love that director,her part here is
far superior-.Jack Cardiff's award-winning color cinematography was
years ahead of its time.It works wonders in the sensual scenes but the
most beautiful picture remains for me the last one when the rain begins
to fall on green leaves.
A sparkling black diamond.
Tags for Black Narcissus Full Movie
, Deborah Kerr
, Eddie Whaley Jr.
, Esmond Knight
, Flora Robson
, Jean Simmons
, Jenny Laird
, Judith Furse
, Kathleen Byron
, Ley On
, May Hallatt
, Nancy Roberts
, Shaun Noble
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