Iain Gray Freelance Writer

Black Narcissus - Review

Kathleen Byron, who died a week ago, would never better her role in Powell and Pressburger’s haunting tale of winds, ghosts, temptation and madness among the Himalayan peaks. 

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Five nuns attempt to set up a mission high in the mountains, but the innocent exoticism of the local people and the purity of the air expose their flaws, regrets and desires. Deborah Kerr is majestic as the Sister Superior, subtly allowing her impassive façade to slip over time, exposing a damaged, passionate human underneath.

But it is Byron’s Sister Ruth, as beautiful, untameable and elemental as the environment she inhabits, who remains a truly unforgettable cinematic character.


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