MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 75 this week

Black Narcissus (1947)

 -  Drama  -  December 1947 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 13,200 users  
Reviews: 126 user | 102 critic

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:

(adapted from the novel by), , 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 21 Dec 2010
 
a list of 30 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
list image
a list of 40 titles
created 28 Jan 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Black Narcissus" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Black Narcissus (1947)

Black Narcissus (1947) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Black Narcissus.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A prostitute seeking a fresh start becomes the obsession of a religious extremist.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Blanche Friderici, Charles Lane
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young woman marries an older millionaire and then falls in love with a handsome nobleman on her honeymoon.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Edythe Chapman
Coquette (1929)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A flirtatious southern belle is compromised with one of her beaus.

Director: Sam Taylor
Stars: Mary Pickford, Johnny Mack Brown, Matt Moore
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When three thuggish men are responsible for the death of his father and the crippling of his brother, young David must choose between supporting his family or risking his life and exacting vengeance.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, Gladys Hulette, Walter P. Lewis
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou
All About Eve (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Cary, Shep, Bill, and Francis are pilots during World War I. Cary and Shep's plane is shot down, and they barely survive; they're released from the hospital on Armistice Day... See full synopsis »

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Richard Barthelmess, David Manners, Johnny Mack Brown
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A stenographer who works for a lawyer falls in love with and marries a wealthy young man. His family has the marraige annulled, after which she gives birth to a child. Her former boss helps... See full summary »

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Robert Ames, Purnell Pratt
Queen Kelly (1929)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A convent girl is abducted and seduced by a prince before being sent off to a brothel in East Africa.

Directors: Erich von Stroheim, Richard Boleslawski, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Gloria Swanson, Walter Byron, Seena Owen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith
Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut
Downstairs (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

At the wedding of Albert and Anna, Karl, the new chauffeur, arrives. Albert is the head butler, second generation to the Baron. Karl soon seems out of place as a servant, and Albert tells ... See full summary »

Director: Monta Bell
Stars: John Gilbert, Virginia Bruce, Paul Lukas
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Flora Robson ...
Jenny Laird ...
Sister Honey
Judith Furse ...
Sister Briony
...
Sister Ruth
...
The Old General
...
The Young General
...
Mr. Dean
...
Kanchi
May Hallatt ...
Angu Ayah
Eddie Whaley Jr. ...
Joseph Anthony
Shaun Noble ...
Con
Nancy Roberts ...
Mother Dorothea
Ley On ...
Phuba
Edit

Storyline

Sister Clodah is dispatched with four other nuns to establish a new convent far in the Himalayas. It's a difficult journey and their new house is a ramshackle old building on the edge of a cliff that had been abandoned by a religious Brotherhood many years before. They soon establish a school and an infirmary though the local General's agent, Mr. Dean, warns them against treating the deathly ill as they would no doubt be blamed if the patient doesn't recover. The location, the culture and the mountain air all begin to have a strange effect on the Sisters. Sister Clodagh, who is also on her first assignment as Sister Superior, begins to remember a romance she had as a young woman before entering the sisterhood. Another however, becomes obsessed with Mr. Dean, which leads to tragedy. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nun | convent | cliff | doubt | mountain | See more »

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

December 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le narcisse noir  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£280,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Cardiff said that the lighting and color palette of this film was inspired by the works of 17th-century Dutch painter Vermeer. See more »

Goofs

An Australian kookaburra is heard laughing in a bamboo forest in the Himalayan foothills. See more »

Quotes

Sister Clodagh: [to Mr. Dean] You are objectionable when sober, and abominable when drunk!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits:- Convent of the Order of the Servants Calcutta See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Making the Film They're a Weird Mob (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The palace in the mountain
1 February 2006 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Wind is always blowing throughout the monastery the Servants of God nuns have inherited in a remote part of India. In accepting being in charge of the new place, Sister Clodagh will question her faith as she faces one of the greatest challenges of her life.

Michael Powell, working with his usual collaborator, Emeric Pressburger, on the Rumer Godden's novel, created a film that stands the test of time. His achievement is even more incredible as he shot this film in an English studio. The film, brilliantly photographed by Jack Cardiff, one of the best men in the business, and a frequent ally of Mr. Powell, is one of the best pictures of the English cinema. The glorious Technicolor still looks great.

"Black Narcissus" questions how some Christians, in this case, nuns of a religious order, can be so blind about things that deviate from what it deems is the right way. When the young General wants to be part of the school the nuns are creating, they reject him, yet, he asks about how would a God, made human in the form of Christ, would respond to his petition.

Sister Clodagh is also put in a spot when she wants to get rid of the old man who day after day sits staring at the distant mountains. It's Mr. Dean who challenges her in asking how would her God deal with the old man. Sister Clodagh's past is revealed in flashbacks when she was a young woman and in love with a young man who wanted to emigrate to America and she wasn't ready to follow him.

Also, Sister Ruth, who is a rebel, decides to abandon the order because she is in love with Mr. Dean. The highlight of the film is the scene in which Ruth begins applying the deep red lipstick, which makes quite a contrast with her beautiful reddish hair to the horror of Sister Clodagh, who clearly is not prepared for the desertion.

There is also an undercurrent between Sister Clodagh and Mr. Dean, who one feels loves her. The nun is too loyal to the principles that made her take the vows. She realizes at the end that while she had the best intentions to transform the place, she is only a human being who suffers a defeat because of her surroundings.

Deborah Kerr enjoyed one of the best triumphs of her career with the role of Sister Clodagh. She is seen as a young woman of great beauty and the austere nun she became later in her life. David Farrar is Mr. Dean, the Englishman who is now living in that remote part of India and knows the people well. Kathleen Byron makes an excellent contribution as the rebel Sister Ruth. Flora Robson plays the kind Sister Philippa. Jean Simmons appears as a cruel Indian girl, and Sabu has some interesting moments in the film.

This is one of Mr. Powell's best movies in his influential film career. He was one of the most innovative film makers of his generation and it shows well in "Black Narcissus".


41 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Films that have the same look and feel smdpi-mail-com
Sister Ruth's mental condition erlend2
Sister Ruth removes book from table in face-off scene jumpy5
I don't understand the 8.0 rating LesterFester
a pity ho-aaron
The real psychotic in this film was... shankmaker
Discuss Black Narcissus (1947) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?