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The Night Porter (1974)

Il portiere di notte (original title)
After a chance meeting at a hotel in 1957, a Holocaust survivor and the Nazi officer who tortured her resume their sadomasochistic relationship.

Director:

Liliana Cavani

Writers:

Liliana Cavani (screenplay), Italo Moscati (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dirk Bogarde ... Max
Charlotte Rampling ... Lucia
Philippe Leroy ... Klaus
Gabriele Ferzetti ... Hans
Giuseppe Addobbati Giuseppe Addobbati ... Stumm
Isa Miranda ... Countess Stein
Nino Bignamini Nino Bignamini ... Adolph
Marino Masé ... Atherton (as Marino Mase')
Amedeo Amodio Amedeo Amodio ... Bert
Piero Vida Piero Vida ... Day Porter
Geoffrey Copleston Geoffrey Copleston ... Kurt
Manfred Freyberger Manfred Freyberger ... Dobson (as Manfred Freiberger)
Ugo Cardea Ugo Cardea ... Mario
Hilda Gunther Hilda Gunther ... Greta
Nora Ricci ... The Neighbor
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Storyline

Thirteen years after WWII a concentration camp survivor (Rampling) and her tormentor, currently the night porter at a Vienna hotel, meet again and fall back into their sado-masochistic relationship. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Most Controversial Picture of Our Time!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Night Porter See more »

Filming Locations:

Lazio, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lotar Film Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Romy Schneider turned down the role of Lucia. Mia Farrow was considered, as well as Dominique Sanda, before Charlotte Rampling was selected based on her work alongside Dirk Bogarde in Luchino Visconti's The Damned (1969). See more »

Goofs

In the flashback with the ballet dancer, dancing in a kind of gym, there is a shot with a poster of Himmler against a pillar. There are also 2 guards standing on the right. A bit later the same angle and the poster is gone and the guards have disappeared. See more »

Quotes

Hans: I'm only here to ask you some questions on behalf of myself and the others, and to have a look at you. Look, I could have come at another time to see him too, but, I don't need to speak to him. I don't need to speak to him... in front of you. Useless. With this business of the trial, he's... become too diffident.
Lucia: He's right.
Hans: What do you mean?
Lucia: Because then for the first time he saw you all clearly. Nothing's changed, has it?
Hans: You're wrong. We've all had our trials. Now we are cured and live in ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Christmas Eve '45 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Don Juan
(uncredited)
Music by Christoph Willibald Gluck
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Genius, Emotional, Dark, Erotic
17 November 2016 | by clockworkdevotchkaSee all my reviews

I am your average film lover who eagerly seeks out the most transgressive films, and devours the Criterion Collection. I must say though that I put off watching this for a long time because the subject matter and idea of a film that romanticizes Nazism just seemed one step too far, especially as a Jewish person. However, after seeing it come up again and again, I decided to bite the bullet and give it a go.

Yes, this film is brutal and not for the faint at heart. I have a natural interest in transgressive sexuality and consider myself somewhere on that spectrum as well so maybe my opinion is biased, but this film was not at all what I expected. I do not see it to be a "Nazisploitation" film, as it has been labeled, it does not romanticize Nazism. It is a deep psychological profile on bdsm and the dynamics of an abusive D/s relationship.

The crazy thing is the main characters really do come to love each other in their own way, albeit in a destructive, violent way not unlike Heathcliffe and Cathy from Wuthering Heights. It is doomed but boy, when they're together its like being caught in the middle of an erotic storm. Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde are maybe the best on screen couple I've seen in terms of sexual chemistry. The film really builds up the tension and puts you right in the face of their emotional turmoil. It is effective because outside of their affair, the rest of the world is tight laced, gloomy, and overall feeling the effects of post war depression. It was geniusly done how delicate the whole game between the two is, and the smallest sensory details add a layer of ingenuity and sexuality that is beyond belief.

Dirk Bogarde's performance is brilliant, his anger and sensuality, and everything in between completely raw, like a wild animal that constantly has to play at being human. Charlotte Rampling also had this totally unhinged quality and the two really work off each other's energy to bring together something genuine and not often captured on film.

The Night Porter rocked my world and deeply moved me. It was all at once beautiful, erotic, heartbreaking, romantic, disturbing, and terrible. It is a masterpiece.


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