The Night Porter

  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
0 Love It
Save it
Like Last Tango in Paris, an operatic celebration of sexual disgust, set in 1957 in a Viennese hotel where Bogarde (maintaining a low profile as a porter) and Rampling (a guest while her conductor husband embarks on a concert tour) meet and recreate their former relationship as sadistic SS officer and child concentration camp inmate; a sexuality that can only end in degradation and self-destruction. Somewhere along the way, the film's handling of serious themes, and its attempts to examine the Nazi legacy in terms of repression and guilt, both sexual and political, get lost amid all the self-conscious decadence. The English language version is terrible.

By: CPe

Release details

Duration: 118 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Liliana Cavani
Screenwriter: Liliana Cavani, Italo Moscati
Cast: Dirk Bogarde
Charlotte Rampling
Philippe Leroy
Gabriele Ferzetti
Giuseppe Addobbati
Isa Miranda
Piero Vida
Nora Ricci

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

I strongly disagree with the appraisal of this film, which strikes me as "Daily Mail" hysterical in tone. To my mind, this is a masterly work that deals seriously with its admittedly very difficult and disturbing subject matter. On the one hand, the intense relationship between an SS officer and a survivor from one of the death camps. But also the relationship between sexuality, power and self-destruction. Although I do not think that Freud can explain what took place in that dark historical chapter (Marx is closer to the truth with his theory) - it certainly makes fascinating and thought provoking subject matter for film. It is interesting that Freud is so out of fashion - any work of art that touches on his ideas seems to provoke disgust and moral outrage. Are we reverting to the Victorian puritanism that Freud so deftly unpicked? To say the acting is terrible is simply untrue - Bogarde and Rampling both perform superbly. I can only think that you were watching another film with the same name or your sensibilities were so offended that you were incapable of seeing beyond them.