Black Narcissus is a beautifully shot film Directed by Michael Powell and shot by Cinematographer Jack Cardiff (who won an Academy Award for his work on it) about a group of nuns trying to establish a convent in the Himalayas played by some of Britain’s finest actresses, including Deborah Kerr, Kathleen Byron, and Flora Robson. Isolation, altitude, weather and culture clashes all come together to put them under intense psychological pressure and drive them towards madness. This is a film that should be better known.
The 1941 thriller Man Hunt directed by Fritz Lang (who was part Jewish and fled Nazi Germany to come to the U.S.) is an interesting film. Released about 6 months before Pearl Harbor it was considered a “hate” film in isolationist America at the time by Hays Code head Joseph Breen because it showed all Germans as evil Nazis. It has a great cast in Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine and a young Roddy Mcdowall in a small but pivotal role. I really don’t want to give away too much of the plot except to say Pidgeon plays a famous big game hunter named Captain Thorndike who gets very close the Berghof, Adolph Hitlers residence armed with a rifle and scope. It is currently available to stream on Netflix and is being released very soon on a limited edition blu-ray by Twilight Time.