Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1947 • United Kingdom
Starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar

This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the epitome of the sensuous style of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A group of nuns—played by some of Britain’s finest actresses, including Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, and Flora Robson—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. A darkly grand film that won Oscars for Alfred Junge's art direction and Jack Cardiff's cinematography, BLACK NARCISSUS is one of the greatest achievements by two of cinema’s true visionaries.

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Black Narcissus
  • Black Narcissus

    Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger • 1947 • United Kingdom
    Starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar

    This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the epitome of the sensuous style of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. A group of nuns—played by som...

Extras

  • BLACK NARCISSUS Commentary

    Recorded in 1988, this commentary features director and coproducer Michael Powell and his longtime friend and admirer Martin Scorsese. Powell reminisces about the production and his unique relationship with his filmmaking partner, Emeric Pressburger, while Scorsese provides analysis and discusses...

  • Bertrand Tavernier on BLACK NARCISSUS

    French filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier has long championed the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and he was close to Powell for many years. This introduction to BLACK NARCISSUS was recorded for the Institut Lumière in 2006.

  • The Audacious Adventurer

    In this 2006 interview, filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier recalls his friend the director Michael Powell and Powell’s stories about the making of BLACK NARCISSUS.

  • Painting with Light

    This piece about renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff’s Oscar-winning work on BLACK NARCISSUS was made in 2000 by Craig McCall.

  • Color Motifs in BLACK NARCISSUS

    Professor Kristin Thompson breaks down the lush palette of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s sensuous masterpiece, showing how set designer Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff use splashes of color to trace the film’s emotional arc.