I did not enjoy it as much as Powell and Pressburger's other films. The main character was annoying especially in the latter part of the film. The editing seemed to frantic at times, but maybe that's to represent her desire in getting married. The cinematography was beautiful, I have to admit. And the introduction to northern Scotland was wonderful. This is between 3.5 and 4 stars for me.
Another masterpiece from The Archers, this film is an exquisitely photographed mood piece that shows Powell and Pressburger at the height of their powers. It also has one of the best scripts they worked with deftly combining romance, satire, and gothic drama. Of course all of the actors are amazing. It's like a tasty little gumdrop.
Beautiful at parts, but mostly because "Black Narcissus" is basically a remake of "I Know Where I'm Going!", it really tastes like little. "Black Narcissus" has probably the most erotically charged shots ever thought through cinema, even in an art form with such daring creators such as Sternberg or Buñuel. If we recall that that movie is about nuns, how the hell can we even compare "I Know Where I'm Going!"?
As good an illustration as any of the magpie-like eccentricities of The Archers' ability to fuse fable and romanticism, vacillating between stridency and whimsy - and for sheer cheek they make it work. Belief in what you're doing is half the battle: witness the zesty playing, crisp cinematography and unforced direction. Credit should be given to the benevolent financing of Rank during this extraordinary period.
Holy Cow! Can all young men watch this movie instructionally?!? Please? Roger Livesey is the single most charismatic and appealing romantic lead I have ever seen in film (or in life for that matter). That is this picture's greatest strength, I think. But it is also an incredibly beautiful movie that faithfully captures a convincing romance against an achingly beautiful backdrop of sea and foam (thanks Erwin Hillier).
The most obvious source of this movie's effervescence is the dialogue, or the humor of the dialogue against the dead-serious (or just really good) photography. But the story's so buoyant (in spite of an unlikeable heroine) because of all its elisions... we don't see the fiancé for one thing, and (avoiding spoilers) you need 2 hands to count all the other should-have-happpeneds that didn't.