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The Powell & Pressburger Pages

Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Lost Scene from Black Narcissus

Filming that final scene (220 Kb)
(Click on image for full size pic)
Johnny Socha is a man on a mission. The mission is to try and track down any missing scenes from the P&P films.

One that's high up on the list is the final scene in Black Narcissus where Sister Clodagh reports back to Mother Dorothea in Calcutta. Jack Cardiff has often mentioned how he was particularly proud of that scene. With the raindrops running down the windows and the light coming into the room distorted through those raindrops which were almost like tears.

The scene was certainly filmed. Studio stills exist of it (see pic, right). But then they did too good a job of the scene of the departure from Mopu, with the first raindrops falling on the leaves and then the torrent as the monsoon rains broke and the fond farewell between Sister Clodagh & Mr. Dean. That was felt to be so good that they decided that that would be a good place to end the film and the scene back with Mother Dorothea was never used.

But does it exist anywhere as a piece of film? Johnny has managed to find it described in the script, although The Archers were infamous for not sticking to the script.

Sequence 29


Mother Dorothea's office in Calcutta.
The rain is streaming down the windows.

A log fire is burning in the fireplace.

Old MOTHER DOROTHEA and SISTER CLODAGH are sitting before the fire.

  CLODAGH:   I am deeply sorry, Reverend Mother.
I must be a great disappointment to you.

She is nearly in tears: her voice is trembling.

The OLD WOMAN does not answer only stares at her.

  CLODAGH:   It is all my fault. I can't blame anybody but myself.

She starts crying. She is sobbing, her
whole body is shaking.

MOTHER DOROTHEA stands up and goes over to her.
The first time her face loses her strength and
it seems, as never before, kind. She puts her
hand on the sobbing Sister Clodagh's head, very
gently and with great love.

  DOROTHEA:   It is the first time I'm pleased with you my child. I seem to find a new Clodagh, one whom I had long prayed to meet.

SISTER CLODAGH is crying even more now.
But her sobs seem to be freeing her from all
her bitterness and all of her disappointments.
Her arms go round the little old Mother
Dorothea's waist, holding her closer and



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