David Farrar, Flora Robson, Deborah Kerr, Sabu,
Jack Cardiff’s skillful camera work (which won him an Oscar) allows Powell and Pressburger to reach delirious heights of psychosexual melodrama. When young Sister Clodagh (Deborah Kerr) opens a school and hospital deep in the northern Indian wilderness, she and her fellow nuns find an environment unfriendly to self-restraint. As their liaison to the local villagers states: “There’s something in the atmosphere that makes everything seem exaggerated.” Though shot almost entirely on a London set, the film feels bathed in soft, natural mountain light. Thus, a sudden shock of color—vibrant murals, blood and lipstick in deep crimson—is all the more jolting.