The Night Porter (1974): Liliana Cavani's emphatic examination of sadomasochistic gratification

A daring treatise on sexual sadomasochism 

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

The Night Porter, Movie Poster, starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, Directed by Liliana Cavani

Our Rating: 7.5
IMDb Ratings: 6.8
Genre: Drama
CastDirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Gabriele Ferzetti
Country: Italy
Language: English
Runtime: 118 min
Color: Color

Summary: After a chance meeting at a hotel in 1957, a Holocaust survivor and the Nazi officer who tortured her resume their sadomasochistic relationship.

The Night Porter a 1974 drama film directed by Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani. Starring Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling in the lead roles, the movie is infamous for its particularly disturbing Nazisploitation motifs. 

Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter, Directed by Liliana Cavani
The captor and the captive
Dark, depressing, and, at times, deeply disgusting, The Night Porter is undoubtedly one of the most emphatic examinations of sadomasochistic gratification in all cinema.

Charlotte Rampling plays the challenging part of a sexually depraved Holocaust victim with such remarkable poise and conviction that it never really comes across as a performance. In spite of ourselves, we can't help but approve of her bizarre actions and behavior.

Charlotte Rampling in Chains, The Night Porter, Directed by Liliana Cavani
A Still from The Night Porter
The grueling part of the Nazi officer who abuses her, both physically and emotionally, is sublimely played by the great English actor Dirk Bogarde. It's a role that a lesser actor could have made appear vulgar, but, vintage Bogarde, we get to vicariously experience the masochistic pain and suffering that his character goes through every time he abuses his helpless victim.
Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde, reunite and began their sadomasochistic relationship, in The Night Porter, Directed by Liliana Cavani
The captor and the captive reunite after years
The Night Porter is certainly not a movie for the faint hearted and the only way to appreciate is to watch it with an open mind, by letting go of bigotry, conservatism and prejudice. Viewer discretion is advised.

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