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This Movie Is About.
Release DateMay 26, 1947
Running time1h 40m
Filming LocationsPinewood Studios, United Kingdom
Black Narcissus is a 1947 British psychological drama film written, produced, and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and starring Deborah Kerr, Sabu, David Farrar, and Flora Robson, and featuring Esmond Knight, Jean Simmons, and Kathleen Byron. The title refers to the Caron perfume Narcisse Noir.
The film is based on the 1939 novel by Rumer Godden. It revolves around the growing tensions within a small convent of Anglican sisters who are trying to establish a school and hospital in the old palace of an Indian Raja at the top of an isolated mountain above a fertile valley in the Himalayas. The palace has ancient Indian erotic paintings on its walls and is run by the agent of the Indian general who owns it, a handsome middle-aged Englishman who is a source of attraction for the sisters.
In her autobiography, A Time to Dance, a Time to Weep, Godden, who grew up in India, describes an event that became an inspiration for Black Narcissus. While exploring the Indian countryside with friends one day, they came across a gravestone, covered with brush. When they cleared it away, all that was on the stone was the name "Sister Ruth".
Black Narcissus achieved considerable acclaim for its technical mastery with the cinematographer, Jack Cardiff, winning an Academy Award for Best Cinematography and a Golden Globe Award for Best Cinematography, and Alfred Junge winning an Academy Award for Best Art Direction.According to film critic David Thomson, "Black Narcissus is that rare thing, an erotic English film about the fantasies of nuns, startling whenever Kathleen Byron is involved".