Director: Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell
Year Released: 1945
I don't know what it is about Powell and Pressburger that I can't seem to swallow. I always felt that Black Narcissus deserves its place in the high pantheon of great masterpieces, but some of the other work they've done has left me irritated. Both The Red Shoes and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp had no effect on me whatsoever, and the same can be said for this work. The plot is easy enough to get - a young, ambitious (dare I say 'masculine?') woman goes to an island in Scotland to marry some rich tycoon, but due to inclement weather (a typhoon? a gale? a hurricane?) cannot cross the ocean and is stranded in a small, seaside town. There she meets a man on leave from the Army (played by Roger Livesey) and finds herself falling for him instead. The moral is easy enough to understand: that no matter where we think we're going, God always has other plans for us ... but the film itself is too cutesy for its own good, the plot is too oversimplified and as a romantic comedy, well, Sturges, McCarey and Hawks did it much better.