Sunday, December 30, 2018
3:00 pm–4:50 pm
Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium (Auditorium 161)
Ticket Required

Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger (1947, UK, 101 min.). Digital.

Winner of an Oscar for best cinematography, this explosive technicolor drama follows a group of British nuns who set out to establish a convent high in the Himalayas in a castle that once housed a royal’s harem. The sisters are troubled by the grandeur of the landscape and the sensual pleasures all around them: tantalizing fruit, handsome men, beautiful women draped in jewels and bright clothing. To the horror of the Sister Superior (Deborah Kerr), one wayward sister (Kathleen Byron) begins to unravel.

Directors Powell and Pressburger (The Red Shoes) made a controversial decision to shoot on a soundstage in England rather than on location in the Himalayas so they could maintain complete control over the look of the film, particularly the placement of color. The scenic backgrounds were painted on glass in delicate blue. Off-white habits were chosen for the nuns, highlighting their ascetic lifestyle, and searing red was used to represent carnal pleasure.

The process of developing Black Narcissus’s visual style is detailed in a fascinating short film about cinematographer Jack Cardiff, Painting With Light. Watch it here.

Watch the trailer

Wheelchair accessible symbol

Wheelchair accessible

Past Dates and Times

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Ticket Information

To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975 ($6 processing fee applies); to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk.

Ticketing Policies


Purchase tickets to three or more regularly priced films at once and get $3 off each ticket. Discount automatically applies at checkout. This discount is not applicable on past purchases. All tickets must be purchased at the same time within the same order for discount to apply.

Groups of 10 or more are eligible for discounted tickets for most of our films. For more information, please call 617-369-3310.

University Members can purchase $5 same-day tickets in person for regularly priced screenings. Valid student ID required, limit of one ticket per ID.