"Sorry Peter, it's obviously difficult for you to digest anything pre 1970. Did you have have the same problem with other Powell and Pressburger classics, such as The Red Shoes or I Know Where I'm Going? How about the Ealing comedies? Is this only a problem with British films or do you fidget through Citizen Kane and wonder why that also seems to top the lists of classic films? If you are curious to find out why Black Narcissus is so highly rated, you should check out the Criterion Blu-ray edition from the States and listen to the fantastic commentary featuring the director Michael Powell (recorded shortly before he died) and Martin Scorsese. The fact that Scorsese rates it as one of his all-time favourites should be an indication that you missed something. As you say, the cinematography is gorgeous and the production design amazing but even this is not flawless; matte lines are clearly visible and it's obvious when miniatures are used. This does not detract from the overall achievement, however. Give it another go. David Farrar riding a tiny pony is even more hysterical than his shorts, by the way."