Black Narcissus
Black Narcissus (1947)

In this unusual, visually stunning, and dramatically compelling film, Anglican nuns attempt to establish a school and hospital in the Himalayas in buildings that formerly housed a harem. But the sisters find the sensual atmosphere… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: August 1, 1947
DVD Release Date: January 30, 2001
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Michael Sragow
New Yorker

This is a landmark of Hollywood-on-Thames trompe-l'oeil.

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Variety Staff

Production has gained much through being in color. The production and camerawork atone for minor lapses in the story, Jack Cardiff's photography being outstanding.

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MFB Critics
Monthly Film Bulletin

The natural colour is beautiful; but, more, the rhythm of camera movement is recurrently used in combination with an overtinting of the whole scene, at significant dramatic moments, to produce an emphasis we have not seen before.

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Keith Uhlich
Time Out

There's something truly unearthly about this place of howling winds, yawning chasms and atmosphere thick with temptation. Sanctity, it will be proven, is no match for sin.

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out

Theatre this Michael Powell film most certainly is, as stressed by the gothic melodrama of the story and the acting, the studio setting with its beautiful backdrops and vivid colours and the most deliberate of characters and events.

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Fernando F. Croce

The Archers at their most carnal-bonkers-sublime

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

Powell's equally extravagant visual style transforms it into a landscape of the mind -- grand and terrible in its thorough abstraction.

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Thomas M. Pryor
New York Times

While Messrs. Powell and Pressburger may have a picture that will disturb and antagonize some, they also have in Black Narcissus an artistic accomplishment of no small proportions.

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Joseph Jon Lanthier
Slant Magazine

Michael Powell was right when he called Black Narcissus an "erotic film," but the attraction is pure Pygmalionism.

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More reviews for Black Narcissus

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Kevin M. Williams
In rugged outback In-juh, a handful of pious British nuns lean to their work amongst the sweaty, heathen native hordes, only the climate, the people, the… More
Randy Tippy
Visually, viscerally and, dare I say it, 'spiritually' breathtaking.
Red Lats
Quite an amazing film - especially considering it was filmed in a studio 65 years ago using painted backdrops to represent the panoramic Himalayas. Even the… More
Conner Rainwater
From a visual standpoint, this is completely flawless and ahead of its time in so many ways. The set design is just so detailed and colorful in a way that is… More
Devon Bott
Nuns on a mountain? Heck yes! Glorious technicolor mountains (colored in with pastel chalks, according to IMDB) where a veritable fortress hides in the… More
Tim Salmons
Another masterwork from Powell and Pressburger, but more importantly, Jack Cardiff (director of photography). Again, bathed in color with the three strip… More

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