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Black Narcissus (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama | December 1947 (USA)
Trailer
2:35 | Trailer
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.

Writers:

Rumer Godden (adapted from the novel by), Michael Powell | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Deborah Kerr ... Sister Clodagh
Flora Robson ... Sister Philippa
Jenny Laird ... Sister Honey
Judith Furse ... Sister Briony
Kathleen Byron ... Sister Ruth
Esmond Knight ... The Old General
Sabu ... The Young General
David Farrar ... Mr. Dean
Jean Simmons ... Kanchi
May Hallatt ... Angu Ayah
Eddie Whaley Jr. Eddie Whaley Jr. ... Joseph Anthony
Shaun Noble Shaun Noble ... Con
Nancy Roberts Nancy Roberts ... Mother Dorothea
Ley On Ley On ... Phuba
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Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A story of exquisite yearning in a strange and beautiful land. Towering over the screen...as the mountains that saw it happen. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of the Technicolor camera and film stock, the sets needed an astounding 800 foot-candles (8,600 lux) of illuminance just to operate at T2.8, which was the widest lens aperture setting. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning, the bell for the future school and infirmary is rung. As the bell swings forward towards the viewer, it partially disappears behind some scenery that depicts landscape which is supposed to be behind the bell. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mother Dorothea: Sita, go and tell Sister Clodagh I wish to speak with her.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits:- Convent Of The Order of The Servants Of Mary - Calcutta See more »

Alternate Versions

This scene was restored when the film was re-released in the U.S. in the 1980s. See more »

Connections

Featured in A Profile of 'The Red Shoes' (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullay My Liking
(uncredited)
Old Edwardian Carol
Music by Sir Richard Terry
New music by Brian Easdale
See more »

User Reviews

 
Beautiful Film: A Masterpiece!
31 July 2008 | by adrian290357See all my reviews

I have now watched this film at least seven times and I am always startled by its majestic photography (all done in England and Wales), intelligent and modern dialog, and the way it dispels the dogmas of Catholic faith through cultural contact, the doubts of a non-believer, the inclement weather, the incredible height of inescapable premises, and ultimately the renunciation of a nun. Michael Powell's direction goes beyond impeccable: It is as near-perfect as one will see. But it is the psychological element, the bottled up hysteria of the nuns against the backdrop of forbidding nature, the aloof British male who is as much a Western peacock as the young Indian general who falls for the "beggarmaid," and above all the unraveling nun that provide the foundations for a riveting film with a climax to match and the most perfect ending sequence I can think of.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

December 1947 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Narcissus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP280,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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