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Review Wanted: Black Narcissus

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Review Wanted: Black Narcissus

Old 06-20-01, 01:40 PM
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I am considering buying the Criterion version of Black Narcissus. I am interested in any opinions on the movie and the features on the DVD. Is this a movie that is good for one viewing only or is it something to rewatch?

All opinions are appreciated!

Old 06-20-01, 01:51 PM
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It's almost impossible to overpraise this DVD - a great film, tranferred with loving care (one of the best you'll ever see!) with fascinating extras. If my DVD collection disappeared overnight, this might be the first one I would replace!

Read this:


My DVD List at DVD Aficionado

[Edited by marty888 on 06-20-01 at 10:54 AM]
Old 06-20-01, 02:52 PM
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I love Black Narcissus - it's one of the towering achievements in color cinematography and set design. Criterion's disc is simply brilliant in every respect.

And though I couldn't bear being without all the P&P on DVD, I actually prefer I Know Where I'm Going! and The Red Shoes to BN. But only by the slightest of margins.

Old 06-20-01, 04:57 PM
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You know, I have yet to read a review of Black Narcissus that wasn't effusive in it's praise for the film and the Criterion disc.

BUT, I was not a big fan of the film at all (hence it is being shopped on the DVD Exchange page). The sets and cinematography are impressive, but the acting is overly dramatic and seems histrionic. I read one review that praised Jean Simmons small role as "smoldering" whereas I had a hard time keeping a straight face while she was onscreen (and I like Jean Simmons). The male lead was non-descript and the young "native boy", while cute, was also somewhat cliched.

As a character study, it is interesting to note the profound personality changes that occur in each nun while they inhabit their new surroundings, however I still couldn't get past the overacting.

Criterion and Martin Scorcese seem to love the Powell & Pressberger collaborations, and far be it from me to argue against them, but from a personal perspective, I can only take so much of the exagerrated DRAMA. I have not seen I Know Where I'm Going and I am looking forward to doing so, and The Red Shoes works better for me because it is set within a ballet which excuses it's "artistic" feel and use of exaggerated color and drama, but Black Narcissus , while clearly occupying a place in film history, will not be missed from my collection. Once was enough for me.

Now back to your regularly scheduled praise....

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