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* SugarWiki/FunnyMoments: The Young General speaks of what he intends to study - math with the mathematics sister, English with the English sister - and then says "physics with the [[AccidentalInnuendo physical sister]]". Even Sister Clodagh finds this ActuallyPrettyFunny.

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* SugarWiki/FunnyMoments: SugarWiki/FunnyMoments:
**
The Young General speaks of what he intends to study - math with the mathematics sister, English with the English sister - and then says "physics with the [[AccidentalInnuendo physical sister]]". Even Sister Clodagh finds this ActuallyPrettyFunny.ActuallyPrettyFunny.
** The Young General's final scene, where he comes to confess to doing a "very wrong thing"...several weeks ''after'' he ran off with Kanchi. Sister Clodagh deadpans "isn't it rather late to tell me about that?"

Added DiffLines:

** In another Powell and Pressberger film ''The Small Back Room'', Kathleen Byron plays the understanding sweetheart to an unstable David Farrar.


** We never actually find out the result of the Young General's tryst with Kanchi. The story of the prince and the beggar maid does end with the beggar marrying and becoming queen. But we don't see Kanchi herself, so it's possible she ran off and the Young General is apologising for a youthful indiscretion.
* AwardSnub: Although the film itself managed to get well-deserved nominations for its cinematography and art direction (which it won), neither Deborah Kerr nor Kathleen Byron got any recognition for their performances at the Oscars. Deborah did win a New York Film Critics Circle award however.



* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: The film was released only a few months before India got independence from Britain. It's been suggested that the final scene of the nuns leaving the convent is a good allegory for the British bidding farewell to their fading empire. One critic described it as "a respectful, rational retreat from something England never owned and never understood".

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* WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical: WhatDoYouMeanItsNotPolitical:
**
The film was released only a few months before India got independence from Britain. It's been suggested that the final scene of the nuns leaving the convent is a good allegory for the British bidding farewell to their fading empire. One critic described it as "a respectful, rational retreat from something England never owned and never understood".understood".
** Sister Clodagh is also Irish amongst an English order of nuns. Just one year after the film came out, Ireland too would officially be independent from Britain.


* NarmCharm: The majority of Kathleen Byron's performance is pretty hammy and over-the-top, but she succeeds in being very unsettling all the same.



* RetroactiveRecognition: Jean Simmons filmed this around the same time as ''{{Film/Hamlet 1948}}'' but came out first. The latter got her an Oscar nomination and turned her into a star.



** While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement.

to:

** While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement. The young boy Joseph Anthony - there as a translator - also notices the growing attractions from Kanchi and Sister Ruth before the rest of the nuns do as well.


* FairForItsDay:
** While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement.
** The film scholar Ian Christie pointed out that earlier films like ''Lost Horzion'' cast the "east" as a mystical paradise where white adventurers find the "meaning of life". The point of ''Black Narcissus'' is that the people of the valley are more earthy, more realistic and grounded than the nuns who simply can't adjust or won't adjust to their surroundings and lifestyle and ultimately fail to impose their way of life. In other words, it deconstructs the colonial project albeit using means and methods (such as the potentially dubious casting and characterization) that are products of its time.


Added DiffLines:

* ValuesResonance:
** While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement.
** The film scholar Ian Christie pointed out that earlier films like ''Lost Horzion'' cast the "east" as a mystical paradise where white adventurers find the "meaning of life". The point of ''Black Narcissus'' is that the people of the valley are more earthy, more realistic and grounded than the nuns who simply can't adjust or won't adjust to their surroundings and lifestyle and ultimately fail to impose their way of life. In other words, it deconstructs the colonial project albeit using means and methods (such as the potentially dubious casting and characterization) that are products of its time.


* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler: After Sister Ruth has died, Sister Clodagh asks Mr Dean to tend to her grave. He solemnly agrees to, both expressing sympathy for the poor mad woman]].



** Deborah Kerr playing an Irish nun who's NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent. About ten years later she plays another Irish nun in ''Heaven Knows Mr Allison'', and puts the accent on. And gets an Oscar nomination for it.

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** Deborah Kerr playing an Irish nun who's NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent. About ten years later she plays another Irish nun in ''Heaven Knows Mr Allison'', ''Film/HeavenKnowsMrAllison'', and puts the accent on. And gets an Oscar nomination for it. And in that, it's the opposite case where the man has unrequited love for Deborah's nun.


Added DiffLines:

* JerkassWoobie: You do have to feel a little sorry for Sister Ruth, as she's ignored and written off by many of the others. Her actress Kathleen Byron even said that she may have been better if the nuns had been kinder to her. [[spoiler: Then she goes and tries to push Sister Clodagh off a cliff]].


Added DiffLines:

* UnbuiltTrope: With regards to 'nunsploitation' films that would later take cues from this, ''Black Narcissus'' shows the nuns struggling to hold on to all their values as opposed to just chastity (that's reserved for Sisters Clodagh and Ruth). There's no actual sex in the film, and the nuns manage to resist the temptation by leaving the area. [[spoiler: Except for Sister Ruth that is.]]


* CriticalResearchFailure: Sister Clodagh is still called Clodagh in the flashbacks to her pre-convent life. Nuns always take a new name when first taking their vows. Of course, since the flashbacks are framed from her subjective impression, and is done in a very stylized manner (as noted by Scorsese and Powell on the criterion commentary), it might be that Clodagh has retrofitted her post-vocational name back to her pre-vocation life.

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* CriticalResearchFailure: Sister Clodagh is still called Clodagh in the flashbacks to her pre-convent life. Nuns always take a new name when first taking their vows. Of course, since the flashbacks are framed from her subjective impression, and is done in a very stylized manner (as noted by Scorsese and Powell on the criterion Criterion commentary), it might be that Clodagh has retrofitted her post-vocational name back to her pre-vocation life.


* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: Kathleen Byron's entire performance as Sister Ruth. It's one of the most intense and unsettling performances in cinema, and notable for the total lack of vanity on the part of the actress. Nowadays, we accept that a young, attractive actress might play a really unsympathetic and screwed-up character and it just goes to show how good she is, but back then, it was incredibly risky because they were expected to play nice, pretty girls all the time. Sister Ruth starts out sickly and whiny and turns into a homicidal {{Jerkass}}, and while the role got Kathleen Byron the attention of Hollywood, she never got a role as prominent as this ever again.


Added DiffLines:

* SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome: Kathleen Byron's entire performance as Sister Ruth. It's one of the most intense and unsettling performances in cinema, and notable for the total lack of vanity on the part of the actress. Nowadays, we accept that a young, attractive actress might play a really unsympathetic and screwed-up character and it just goes to show how good she is, but back then, it was incredibly risky because they were expected to play nice, pretty girls all the time. Sister Ruth starts out sickly and whiny and turns into a homicidal {{Jerkass}}, and while the role got Kathleen Byron the attention of Hollywood, she never got a role as prominent as this ever again.


* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: See all the stunning sets and scenery? All done in Pinewood Studios using matte paintings, hanging miniatures, glass artwork and other visual tricks. The result is a striking film that looks as if it was at least partially shot on location. Some scenes were shot in West Sussex Gardens - in the home of an Indian retiree who was able to lend necessary plants and trees.

to:

* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: SugarWiki/VisualEffectsOfAwesome: See all the stunning sets and scenery? All done in Pinewood Studios using matte paintings, hanging miniatures, glass artwork and other visual tricks. The result is a striking film that looks as if it was at least partially shot on location. Some scenes were shot in West Sussex Gardens - in the home of an Indian retiree who was able to lend necessary plants and trees.


* UnbuiltTrope: Closely related. This film typecast Deborah Kerr as a ProperLady and EnglishRose to American audiences. It's then rather surprising to see that Sister Clodagh's main arc is trying to resist her own growing sexuality in India - essentially deconstructing her type before she'd been properly typecast.


* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Was Sister Ruth really just driven mad by the new environment? Or was it because she received barely any kindness or friendship from her fellow sisters? They are a bit dismissive of her, notably the incident where she does stop a patient from bleeding out. But she does display an AmbiguousDisorder that suggests the other nuns already know her limits and have given up trying.

to:

* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: AlternateCharacterInterpretation:
**
Was Sister Ruth really just driven mad by the new environment? Or was it because she received barely any kindness or friendship from her fellow sisters? They are a bit dismissive of her, notably the incident where she does stop a patient from bleeding out. But she does display an AmbiguousDisorder that suggests the other nuns already know her limits and have given up trying.trying.
** Some fans think that Clodagh may have actually slept with Conn during their 'romance' back in Ireland, and that she had expected him to marry her for this reason. When he opted to go to America, she was DefiledForever and chose to become a nun. Another possibility is that they didn't sleep together but everyone in her village assumed they had - which had much of the same effect.



** The film scholar Ian Christie pointed out that earlier films like Film/LostHorzion cast the "east" as a mystical paradise where white adventurers find the "meaning of life". The point of ''Black Narcissus'' is that the people of the valley are more earthy, more realistic and grounded than the nuns who simply can't adjust or won't adjust to their suurroundings and lifestyle and ultimately fail to impose their way of life. In other words, it deconstructs the colonial project albeit using means and methods (such as the potentially dubious casting and characterization) that are products of its time.

to:

** The film scholar Ian Christie pointed out that earlier films like Film/LostHorzion ''Lost Horzion'' cast the "east" as a mystical paradise where white adventurers find the "meaning of life". The point of ''Black Narcissus'' is that the people of the valley are more earthy, more realistic and grounded than the nuns who simply can't adjust or won't adjust to their suurroundings surroundings and lifestyle and ultimately fail to impose their way of life. In other words, it deconstructs the colonial project albeit using means and methods (such as the potentially dubious casting and characterization) that are products of its time.
* FridgeHorror: If Sister Clodagh became a nun after Conn jilted her, it's possible she did so to escape getting sent to the Magdalene Laundries - places where women deemed 'fallen' in Ireland were sent to work after the country became independent.
* SugarWiki/FunnyMoments: The Young General speaks of what he intends to study - math with the mathematics sister, English with the English sister - and then says "physics with the [[AccidentalInnuendo physical sister]]". Even Sister Clodagh finds this ActuallyPrettyFunny.



* UnbuiltTrope: Closely related. This film typecast Deborah Kerr as a ProperLady and EnglishRose to American audiences. It's then rather surprising to see that Sister Clodagh's main arc is trying to resist her own growing sexuality in India - essentially deconstructing her type before she'd been properly typecast.



* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: See all the stunning sets and scenery? All done in Pinewood Studios using matte paintings, hanging miniatures, glass artwork and other visual tricks. The result is a striking film that looks as if it was at least partially shot on location.

to:

* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: See all the stunning sets and scenery? All done in Pinewood Studios using matte paintings, hanging miniatures, glass artwork and other visual tricks. The result is a striking film that looks as if it was at least partially shot on location. Some scenes were shot in West Sussex Gardens - in the home of an Indian retiree who was able to lend necessary plants and trees.


** As noted above, Kathleen Byron was one of the first actresses to really rebel against the standards of the era. Nowadays it's a given that an actress would forget about her own beauty and vanity for the sake of a role. But 1940s audiences expected actresses to play [[GirlsNeedRoleModels nice pretty girls]]. So her performance was shockingly daring at the time, even if fare such as ''Film/RequiemForADream'', ''{{Film/Monster}}'', or even ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' overshadows it.

to:

** As noted above, Kathleen Byron was one of the first actresses to really rebel against the standards of the era. Nowadays it's a given that an actress would forget about her own beauty and vanity for the sake of a role. But 1940s audiences expected actresses to play [[GirlsNeedRoleModels play nice pretty girls]].girls. So her performance was shockingly daring at the time, even if fare such as ''Film/RequiemForADream'', ''{{Film/Monster}}'', or even ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' overshadows it.


* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Was Sister Ruth really just driven mad by the new environment? Or was it because she received barely any kindness or friendship from her fellow sisters?

to:

* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Was Sister Ruth really just driven mad by the new environment? Or was it because she received barely any kindness or friendship from her fellow sisters?sisters? They are a bit dismissive of her, notably the incident where she does stop a patient from bleeding out. But she does display an AmbiguousDisorder that suggests the other nuns already know her limits and have given up trying.


Added DiffLines:

* EnsembleDarkhorse: Kanchi has no lines, only appears in a few scenes and disappears after the second act. But Jean Simmons is ''very'' memorable - the character's free spirited nature contrasting heavily with the chaste nuns. After Sister Ruth, Kanchi is probably the most memorable character in the story.


Added DiffLines:

* VisualEffectsOfAwesome: See all the stunning sets and scenery? All done in Pinewood Studios using matte paintings, hanging miniatures, glass artwork and other visual tricks. The result is a striking film that looks as if it was at least partially shot on location.


* FairForItsDay: While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement.

to:

* FairForItsDay: FairForItsDay:
**
While Sisters Clodagh and Ruth are quite condescending and rude towards the natives, the film shows them to be in the wrong, and overall the nuns themselves are portrayed as being foolish to try and Westernise the locals. Notably the general pays the locals to go to the convent every day and they're not happy with the arrangement.
** The film scholar Ian Christie pointed out that earlier films like Film/LostHorzion cast the "east" as a mystical paradise where white adventurers find the "meaning of life". The point of ''Black Narcissus'' is that the people of the valley are more earthy, more realistic and grounded than the nuns who simply can't adjust or won't adjust to their suurroundings and lifestyle and ultimately fail to impose their way of life. In other words, it deconstructs the colonial project albeit using means and methods (such as the potentially dubious casting and characterization) that are products of its time.


* AlasPoorVillain: [[spoiler: After Sister Ruth has died, Sister Clodagh asks Mr Dean to tend to her grave. He solemnly agrees to, both expressing sympathy for the poor mad woman]].



* HilariousInHindsight: Deborah Kerr playing an Irish nun who's NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent. About ten years later she plays another Irish nun in ''Heaven Knows Mr Allison'', and puts the accent on. And gets an Oscar nomination for it.

to:

* HilariousInHindsight: HilariousInHindsight:
**
Deborah Kerr playing an Irish nun who's NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent. About ten years later she plays another Irish nun in ''Heaven Knows Mr Allison'', and puts the accent on. And gets an Oscar nomination for it.it.
** Deborah Kerr's [[Film/TheKingAndI next visit to Asia]] would go slightly better. Additionally the convent was once the house for the General's harem. In ''The King & I'', Kerr's character protests at having to live alongside a harem.
** If you watch ''Film/FromHereToEternity'' immediately after ''Black Narcissus'' - where Deborah Kerr has a memorably steamy kiss on the beach - it gives the impression that Sister Clodagh gave into her desires eventually.



* NightmareFuel: Sister Ruth once she's undergone her EvilCostumeSwitch. The faces she makes and the way she stalks Sister Clodagh in the early morning.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: This film's use of striking colour was shocking at the time. Crowds went wild just for the shot of pink flowers appearing. Remember that this was a British film made just at the end of World War II and it's even more shocking.

to:

* NightmareFuel: [[spoiler: Sister Ruth Ruth]] once she's undergone her EvilCostumeSwitch. The faces she makes and the way she stalks Sister Clodagh in the early morning.
morning. She gives one of the most unsettling {{Kubrick Stare}}s in film history.
* SeinfeldIsUnfunny: SeinfeldIsUnfunny:
**
This film's use of striking colour was shocking at the time. Crowds went wild just for the shot of pink flowers appearing. Remember that this was a British film made just at the end of World War II and it's even more shocking.
** As noted above, Kathleen Byron was one of the first actresses to really rebel against the standards of the era. Nowadays it's a given that an actress would forget about her own beauty and vanity for the sake of a role. But 1940s audiences expected actresses to play [[GirlsNeedRoleModels nice pretty girls]]. So her performance was shockingly daring at the time, even if fare such as ''Film/RequiemForADream'', ''{{Film/Monster}}'', or even ''Film/SunsetBoulevard'' overshadows it.

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