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Black Narcissus

Film critic Peter Bradshaw explores Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger's sensuous 1947 film Black Narcissus, a melodrama set in a convent in an isolated Himalayan valley.

"It is all done by suggestion, but eroticism is in every frame and image from beginning to end. It is a film full of wonderful performances and passion just below the surface, which finally, at the end of the film, erupts", Michael Powell

Continuing the Sound of Cinema season, film critic Peter Bradshaw looks at Powell and Pressburger's sensuous 1947 melodrama, 'Black Narcissus'.

Set in a convent in an isolated Himalayan valley, in which tensions are running high, Black Narcissus was based on the 1939 novel of the same name by Rumer Godden. It stars Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron and Jean Simmons, and was described by Michael Powell described as the most erotic film he ever made.

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, together known as The Archers, were one of the most influential and audacious film-makers of the 1930s and 40s. Their groundbreaking works include: 'The Red Shoes', 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp', 'A Matter of Life and Death' and 'Black Narcissus'.

Peter Bradshaw is the Guardian's film critic.

Producer: Justine Willett.

Available now

15 minutes


  • Thu 26 Sep 2013 22:45
  • Fri 25 Jul 2014 22:45

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