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3.6
1,702 Ratings

The Night Porter

Directed by Liliana Cavani
Italy, United States, 1974
Drama, History, LGBT+

Synopsis

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.

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The Night Porter Directed by Liliana Cavani
Why is the movie about the worst crimes so clearly invested in the pleasures of its rituals, so confused about who deserves what? And each film is the least explicable when it is at its most violent.
December 28, 2018
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Whether the film is deemed gutsy or cynical, Bogarde, in Max’s dark stillness, and Rampling, in Lucia’s agonized twitchiness, give bravely evocative performances with undeniable staying power, from the brilliantly ambivalent moment of mutual recognition in the film’s opening minutes through its caustic, hardboiled denouement.
February 03, 2016
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I was persuaded to return to it after rereading Mary Gaitskill’s terrific recent T magazine profile of the star; in her appraisal of Rampling’s performance, the writer singles out how the actress gives “the look of a trapped animal showing a submissive face while it prepares its next move.” After a second viewing, I still think Night Porter is risible, but Gaitskill’s assessment is sound. Veering from soigné to savage, Rampling brings a feral, frightening intensity to her incoherent character.
January 05, 2016
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