Black Narcissus Black Narcissus

Black Narcissus

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

 
Black Narcissus (Criterion Blu-Ray)

Blu-Ray

1 Disc

SRP: $39.95

Criterion Store price:$31.96

+ Add to Cart
  • United Kingdom
  • 1947
  • 101 minutes
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  
  • Spine #93

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.

Cast

Sister ClodaghDeborah Kerr
The Young GeneralSabu
Mr. DeanDavid Farrar
Sister PhilippaFlora Robson
The Old GeneralEsmond Knight
KanchiJean Simmons
Sister RuthKathleen Byron
Sister HoneyJenny Laird
Sister BrionyJudith Furse
Angu AyahMay Hallatt
Joseph AnthonyEddie Whaley, Jr.
ConShaun Noble
Mother DorotheaNancy Roberts

Credits

DirectorMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Written, produced, and directed byMichael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
Adapted from the novel byRumer Godden
Photographed in Technicolor byJack Cardiff
Music and sound score composed and conducted byBrian Easdale
EditingReginald Mills
CostumesHein Heckroth
Production designAlfred Junge

Disc Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, created with the participation of cinematographer Jack Cardiff and director Michael Powell’s widow, editor Thelma Schoonmaker Powell, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • Video introduction by filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier
  • Audio commentary featuring Powell and director Martin Scorsese
  • The Audacious Adventurer, a video piece in which Tavernier discusses the film and Powell
  • Profile of “Black Narcissus,” a documentary featuring members of the Archers’ production team
  • Painting with Light, a documentary on Cardiff’s Oscar-winning work on Black Narcissus
  • Original theatrical trailer
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones

    New cover by F. Ron Miller

Film Essays

Black Narcissus: Empire of the Senses

By Kent Jones July 20, 2010

“It is the most erotic film that I have ever made,” wrote Michael Powell of Black Narcissus. “It is all done by suggestion, but eroticism is in every frame and image, from the beginning to the . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Black Narcissus

By Dave Kehr January 29, 2001

When Black Narcissus opened in England in 1947, Great Britain was barely emerging from the agony and exhaustion of World War II. Nothing could be further from gray, hungry postwar London than . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Black Narcissus

By Ronald Haver July 11, 1998

Black Narcissus was the sixth production from that remarkable pair of artists Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, collectively known as The Archers, who dominated the creative side of the . . . Read more »

Photo Galleries

A Splash of Red

May 08, 2014


Video

Play Bc_current_video_still

Blue Christmas

By Michael Koresky and Casey Moore December 19, 2013

Watch video »


Photo Galleries


Photo Galleries


10 Things I Learned

10 Things I Learned: Sabu!

By Michael Koresky December 20, 2011


Photo Galleries


Current_110_698_thumbnail

On Jack Cardiff: An Interview with Cameraman director Craig McCall

May 13, 2011

Craig McCall’s labor of love documentary Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, a darling of the film festival circuit over the past year, opens today in New York and in a couple of weeks . . . Read more »


Big Screen

Celebrating Cardiff

January 19, 2011

British cinematographer Jack Cardiff, who passed away in 2009 at the age of ninety-four, was a Technicolor trailblazer. When the American film lab opened an outpost at England’s Denham Studios . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: 2010—One Last Look

January 03, 2011

Before we put 2010 to bed, we thought we’d catch up with all the year-end lists that have sprung up over the past week or so. A good place to start is DVD Beaver’s annual poll, which ranks the . . . Read more »


Clippings

Powers’s Picks

December 03, 2010

’Tis the season for DVD gift guides, and critic John Powers is quick out of the gate with a lineup of movie recommendations for NPR’s Fresh Air. Among his top choices are works by two great . . . Read more »


Big Screen

Cardiff Documentary Opens

September 10, 2010

Starting today, Angelenos should dance their way over to the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theatre in West Hollywood, where the new documentary Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff—a labor of love . . . Read more »


Press Notes

Press Notes: Black Narcissus

July 21, 2010

“The most beautiful Technicolor movie ever made,” writes critic Ty Burr in a Boston Globe review of the new Criterion release of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s Black Narcissus. “More . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Black Narcissus: Empire of the Senses

By Kent Jones July 20, 2010

“It is the most erotic film that I have ever made,” wrote Michael Powell of Black Narcissus. “It is all done by suggestion, but eroticism is in every frame and image, from the beginning to the . . . Read more »


News

The BFI Celebrates Cardiff’s Career

May 05, 2010

Oscar-winning cinematographer Jack Cardiff, whose ravishing Technicolor compositions graced the Powell and Pressburger tours de force Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes, died last year at the age . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Black Narcissus

By Dave Kehr January 29, 2001

When Black Narcissus opened in England in 1947, Great Britain was barely emerging from the agony and exhaustion of World War II. Nothing could be further from gray, hungry postwar London than . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Black Narcissus

By Ronald Haver July 11, 1998

Black Narcissus was the sixth production from that remarkable pair of artists Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, collectively known as The Archers, who dominated the creative side of the . . . Read more »