7.8/10
22,094
168 user 110 critic

Black Narcissus (1947)

Not Rated | | Drama | December 1947 (USA)
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2:35 | Trailer
A group of nuns struggle to establish a convent in the Himalayas, while isolation, extreme weather, altitude, and culture clashes all conspire to drive the well-intentioned missionaries mad.

Writers:

Rumer Godden (adapted from the novel by), Michael Powell | 1 more credit »
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 FASCINATING ADVENTURE in a Strange and Beautiful Land! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Carol Reed suggested Brian Easdale as the composer, having met him in India while working on a wartime documentary. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) There is a statue of the crucified Christ, complete with the requisite wounds. However, the wound on his chest is on the wrong side - it is always shown on the left side; this one is on the right. Note that this is merely an artistic convention; the Bible (John 19:34) does not mention which side was pierced. See more »

Quotes

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

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

Alternate Versions

The flashbacks of Sister Clodagh's life prior to her becoming a nun were deleted from the original U.S prints of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in The South Bank Show: Michael Powell (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Lullay My Liking
(uncredited)
Old Edwardian Carol
Music by Sir Richard Terry
New music by Brian Easdale
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User Reviews

 
Do you see that crate? Sausages! They will eat sausages. Europeans eat sausages wherever they go.
18 February 2010 | by lastliberalSee all my reviews

There is no doubt that this is a beautiful movie. The cinematography in the Himalayas is breathtaking.

It is also a fascinating movie, as Deborah Kerr plays Sister Clodagh, the youngest Mother Superior in the history of the order, and charged with establishing a school and hospital in the Himalayas.

British Agent Mr. Dean, played by David Farrar, provides the sexual innuendo in a facility that was designed to be the residence of the General's harem.

With Mr. Dean in the middle, there has to be another bookend. It is Sister Ruth (Kathleen Byron), who, like Sister Clodaggh, is attracted to Mr. Dean. This attraction turns the film into a horror movie in the last 20 minutes.

The main feature of the film is the cinematography. It doesn't present much more than that as the story is rather thin. That's enough, plus the acting of Deborah Kerr to make this worth watching if you can ignore the colonialism in presenting a film on Easterners.


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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)
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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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