In Liliana Cavani's scintillating drama, a concentration camp survivor (Charlotte Rampling) discovers her ex-torturer/lover (Dirk Bogarde) working as a night porter at a hotel in postwar Vienna. When the couple attempt to re-create their sadomasochistic relationship, his former SS comrades begin to stalk them. Operatic and disturbing, The Night Porter deftly examines the cruelty and decadence of Nazi culture.
Not a typical film about the Holocaust...
- The Night Porter review by AS
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You rated this film: 4
I thought this was a great film - controversial and shocking but well-acted and I was engrossed till the end. The director, Liliana Cavani, had interviewed for a TV programme two women who survived the Dachau concentration camp. This inspired her to make The Night Porter - and the film explores the enduring psychological damage of Nazism even after the end of the war.
This is a dark exploration of two twisted minds brutalised by war. Charlotte Rampling, with her hooded eyes and ice-calm presence, is the beautiful victim who after the war turns the tables on her Nazi torturer in a strange act of sadomasochistic revenge. Dirk Bogarde, as in several of his films, is perfect at mixing quiet menace with sexual vulnerability. It's a perplexing story of loathing and desire but eminently watchable.