Black Narcissus

What's it About

When young Sister Clodagh (Kerr) is asked to open a convent-hospital in a former brothel perched high in the Himalayas, she readily agrees, despite knowing hardships lie ahead. Once there, she's greeted by a sardonic Englishman, Mr. Dean (Farrar), who takes great delight in ruffling Sister Clodagh's habit. But it's jealous, unstable Sister Ruth (Byron) who eventually succumbs to the dark allure of this exotic, windswept setting.

Why We Love It

Another great success for "Red Shoes" helmers Powell & Pressburger, "Narcissus" is an absorbing, finely acted British melodrama about the secular problems facing a new mother superior in an unfamiliar, potentially hostile new environment. The directors even stirred controversy by developing a subtle yet credible sexual tension between the luminous Kerr and handsome Farrar. Jack Cardiff's Oscar-winning Technicolor photography and Alfred Junge's hand-crafted art design give this film exceptional production values to boot. Byron's celebrated turn as the unhinged Sister Ruth climaxes in a suspenseful sequence that's hard to forget.

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