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Black Narcissus (The Criterion Collection)
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Deborah Kerr is Sister Clodagh, fullfilling her duties at the Servants of Mary in Calcutta. She is assigned to helm St. Faith, high in the Himalayas, and is given the charge of Mother Superior in order to do so. She will be the youngest ever to hold such a position, and it is one her Mother Superior believes she is not ready for. Once she reaches the lonely place over nine thousand feet from the earth, with her small group of Sisters, she will discover that while they may be in closer proximity to the heavens, they will be much further from God.
The isolation, the drums, and the wind, will have an effect on each of the Sisters, including Sister Clodagh. She is strict and demanding, but becomes concious of the danger here when she herself begins to drift and dream of her past in Ireland before joining the Servants of Mary. Kerr has a graceful Irish beauty that is almost stunning in these flashback scenes. She was young and happy, and in love. She was from a small area and did not want to be shamed when the one she had given her love to decided to move on without her. Her decision was born out of her desire to avoid humiliation.Read more ›
There is one minor error in the Criterion and previous versions of the film that have been released. When Sister Ruth sees red and passes out, the screen goes to blue instead of black. This is most likely the result of some electronic sampler that thought "black" meant "no signal", and as VCRs will do, switched the screen to blue.
This film is excellent and Jack Cardiff was a genius. It rightly won the Oscars for Best Cinematography and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration in 1947.
On top of it we have a impecable cast and what I believe to be the best cinematography work I have ever experienced - courtesy of the great Mr. Jack Cardiff. The cinematography IS BREATHTAKING. As breathtaking as nothing I have ever seen on the technicolor days.
I disagree with one reviewer who complained that Criterion Collection failed to bring us this film just because the aspect ratio was 1.33:1 (instead of a widescreen version). I strongly disagree with that idea and I must recall that Black Narcissus was made in 1947. At that time films had the 1.33:1 ratio. Widescreen only came up in the early 50's. It happeened that later on, some films had a fake-widescreen effect just for re-release purposes. Black Narcissus was filmed using a technicolor process involving 3 negatives and its correct aspect ratio was 1.33:1.
Criterion's edition of Black Narcissus is a gem. A great buy. You will never see anything like this again!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This isn't necessarily a subject one would find interesting, but this is a very good film. Scenery is excellent....some remarkable cinematography. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
The Blu-Ray Criterion Collection of Black Narcissus includes excellent featurettes. It also includes a booklet with amazing photos and commentary on the film. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
First of all, the dvd version I've watced was Korean version and it was 100 minutes just like it was described in the imdb. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Hee Chul Kwon
In my review of the book, I mentioned three things that really stood out for me – the depth of the characterisation, the wonderfully atmospheric sense of place and the slow build... Read morePublished 6 months ago by FictionFan
I could not believe this phenomenal movie was made in 1947. This is one of movie that left remarkable memories for years to come. Read morePublished 9 months ago by redriver
It's a beautiful, haunting, heartbreaking movie. I love it so much. It's a must see.Published 11 months ago by Tracy Keyes
Remains gorgeously scary since it's release. A disturbingly beautiful classic.Published 13 months ago by aron green, m.d.