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The Night Porter (1974) - Liliana Cavani

The Night Porter (1974) - Liliana Cavani [FR] [DE] [UK]


The Night Porter (Il Portiere di notte) is a 1974 film starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling. The film was made by the Italian director Liliana Cavani.

Dirk Bogarde plays Maximilian Theo Aldorfer, a former Nazi SS officer, and Charlotte Rampling plays Lucia Atherton, a concentration camp survivor. The two accidentally meet after World War II in a Vienna hotel and fall back into their sadomasochistic relationship.

Liliana Cavani (the film's director) is a filmmaker whose work has provoked strong reaction from critics and public alike. For The Night Porter she was both celebrated for her courage in dealing with the disturbing theme of sexual transgression and, simultaneously, castigated for the startlingly controversial manner in which she presented that transgression within the scandalising context of a Nazi Holocaust narrative. It is this film for which she is still best-known. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Night_Porter [Oct 2005]

The Night Porter was a bit of a disappointment, best scenes are when Rampling does her "cabaret" act.

Amazon review

  1. The Night Porter - Criterion Collection (1974) [Amazon US]
    For those who like their love stories dipped in decadence, Liliana Cavani's dark and disturbing 1974 drama--about a concentration camp survivor who fatefully comes face to face with her ex-Nazi captor and lover--has held up quite well over the years despite its sensationalistic tone. It helps that the mysterious, cobra-eyed Charlotte Rampling plays the survivor, Lucia, and that the unctuous and languid British actor, Dirk Bogarde, is former SS officer Max, a now-benign night porter at the Vienna hotel where the pair coincidentally collides. There is a haunted hollowness to these characters that resigns them to relive the sordid past that tragically binds them. Criterion's DVD offers the film in its best available condition, and the color has been restored to enhance its symbolic significance. The Night Porter uses landscape as character, and its desaturated tones evoke memory of the Holocaust and a shady 1950s Vienna plagued by post-World War II guilt. In fact, this is a film full of shadows and shame, and Max and Lucia are victims of this frightening world in which nothing can be trusted and around every corner lurk spies in their house of forbidden love. --Paula Nechak for amazon.com

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