Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Il portiere di notte (The Night Porter) Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ January 20, 2009
If I assembled a list of my favorite sadomasochistic Nazi co-dependency films made prior to 1975 that featured topless dancers is SS uniforms, this would definitely be in the top five.
Super Reviewer
April 7, 2008
perversely sweet. i think it is of interest that an italian director chose 1950s Vienna as a setting for the re-enactment of a sado-masochistic affair from concentration camp days. it seems the ss officer and his 'little girl' cloister themselves, potentially out of shame, and their existence leads to an inevitable conclusion.

Visconti's 'The Damned' was filmed 5 years prior with Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde during the third reich. I think it will be interesting to compare the films, so it's my next movie to watch.
Super Reviewer
½ February 23, 2011
For a movie about a kinky romance between an ex-Nazi and his former prisoner, "The Night Porter" is bewilderingly dull. A full 50 minutes pass before the two principals meet, and even after they do, there are only fleeting glimpses of the sexual electricity that the film's reputation suggests.

The setting is Vienna, 12 years after World War II. Max (Dirk Bogarde, typically uncomfortable and repressed) is a semi-reformed Nazi who posed as a wartime doctor in order to exploit beautiful prisoners such as Lucia (Charlotte Rampling, and her incredible sea-green eyes). Now he's the anonymous concierge at a posh hotel, improbably speaking perfect English. A matured Lucia, the elegant wife of an orchestra conductor, comes to stay at the hotel by chance. The two instantly recognize each other and soon can't resist resuming their past submissive/dominant relationship. Meanwhile, Max is in touch with some other ex-Nazis who steadily conspire to bury all evidence of their shared history. Naturally, they are concerned when Max toils to keep his eyewitness lover from being silenced.

Bogarde and Rampling are masterful in difficult roles that not only explore controversial subjects but require ample acting through behavior and facial expression alone. Unfortunately, the many wordless minutes also mean the film is quite slow-paced. And sorry, there isn't much flashy sadomasochism in this dour tale -- the most shocking moment is probably just a foreplay shot where Max purposely grinds his bare foot into some broken glass. We do get the unexpected pleasure of eloquent ballet choreography (credit Italian dancer Amedeo Amodio), along with a topless torch song from Rampling that will make jaws drop and pulses race.

Interestingly, Bogarde and Rampling also appeared in "The Damned," an earlier Italian film with a Nazi theme.
Super Reviewer
½ October 8, 2013
There's a lot wrong with The Night Porter it's a sickening film, and not because of what it shows, but the inexplicable exploitation of the holocaust. Before I say why I don't consider this "art" by any means, I'll start with some technical problems. The acting was stiff and unattractive, the visuals were never intriguing, and dark visuals can sometimes be the greatest. The plot is based is based to much on coincidence. And worst of all this makes no attempt to create a German concentration camp worker, or someone who has suffered through this. I didn't detect any accents, any physical signs, it's just lazy garbage.

And now I'm pretty lenient in what I consider wrong to exploit for a film, or even caring about a directors personal actions. I love Polanski and Lars Von Trier "I'm a nazi moment" was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. But to turn holocaust victims into Nazi d**k cravers, who just all happen to becomes obsessed with the world of BDSM, is not a subject that should be looked at as legit. It loses all potential meaning due to its craving for controversy. It's far from anything meaningful, a picture to be missed, unless you're into some over the top kinkiness. Liliani Cavini is scum.
½ July 31, 2007
The first time I saw this I found it quite good, but the second time around I found it just weird and boring.
December 18, 2008
Borderline exploitative but there's a nice classy dramatic touch that separates it from the genre. Overall a really good exploration of a very odd relationship.
December 3, 2008
I had wanted to watch this film for quite some time before I ever bought it. When I finally got it and watched it, I had no idea I would love it as much as I did. THE NIGHT PORTER is a beautifully composed masterpiece whose 1.85:1 widescreen frame is wonderfully utilized. The story is intriguing and the first half of the film perfectly sets up the exposition so that the second half can be sheer brilliance. The setting is 1957 in Vienna, Italy. A former Nazi soldier is working as a night porter in a hotel when he recognizes a woman as she enters with her husband. Through bits and pieces of flashbacks, we find out that she was formerly tortured and loved by the Nazi soldier. They seek to rekindle their off-beat relationship. Meanwhile, other former Nazi soldiers seek to elimiate their former survivors. Wonderfully decadent and brilliant.
½ December 17, 2007
"Last Tango in Paris" with Nazis. This is about the most sexually provocative and disturbing movie I've yet come across. Charlotte Rampling is stunning, both physically and emotionally. The sexual dynamics between the two main characters are thought-provoking, to say the least. Wouldn't recommend this to just anyone, but if you're up for a challenging movie, this is a great one to wrap your noggin around.
March 22, 2006
Probably expecting more because it was a Criterion release. Interesting take on evil and the effect it can have on people, but felt like a generic thriller in the end.
½ December 31, 2015
I was more than a little underwhelmed. It's a handsomely mounted film, with good performances from Bogarde and Rampling, but I was left thinking "so what?" That's not necessarily a problem since films don't have to have any deeper significance, but this really seemed to be striving for something it failed to achieve.
September 20, 2015
Memoires from an fallen empire, keep coming back to mind. When a SS soldier hidden in plain sight as a hotel porter in Vienna, get reunited with a former girl from his SS past. His inner circle of earlier SS soldiers tries to wash their past through burning evidence, and eliminating witnesses. She might be both. The atmosphere is cold and grey, but the sensual tension of lost sado-maschositic love comes back to life.
December 2, 2012
cool concept and good movie. Lots of scenes with no dialogue just actions. Also contains a few dance and musical numbers. The slower pace feels 70's.
½ February 18, 2014
It's an extremely difficult film to swallow. It's not one that I would ever see again. However, it will more than likely have an effectA deeply disturbing and beautiful film, The Night Porter still manages to arouse emotion so many years after it first appeared. The performances are superb, with Bogarde and Rampling in fine form. I particularly liked the scenes involving the ex - SS men and their 'alcoholics anonymous' - style meetings. There is a slight problem with the synchronisation of speech and film on my copy - and the quality makes it sound like it was very hastily re-dubbed (with the original actors). I wonder if anyone else has this feeling? In any case, the film works on many levels. The atmosphere established by the director is oppressive and can feel it yourself.....its like a cold day in autumn when it is steely-grey and rainy this movie! (Unless you enjoy films like 'Rock Star'!) on you. Whether you love it or hate it, the film works. The film is all too effective. You may love it or you may hate it, but you're going to remember it.
September 17, 2007
With a little application and imagination I suppose one might read themes of political and philosophical import into this work, but Cavani's style remains stupidly literal and gaga.
½ December 7, 2014
A really thought provoking film and with an interestimg perspective. Not many film makers dare to explore issues and themes like these regarding the holocaust, there seems to be a set way of looking at this topic in order to not cause offence. I think thats a shame I want to know why it is offensive to explore every psycholocical aspect of a situation. Thats really one of the purposes of film to prehaps bring us to understand experiences we have never had. I took this to be a film about guilt. The very worst of both Maxs amd Lucias natures were brought out im the intensity and pressure of the concentration camp. Now they are trying to get on with thier lives as everyone around them is doing but when they are brought togethee they are both forced to confront what happend and I think in the end their choice is a powerful one and an example to those around them who wish to forget.
August 26, 2014
The problem with this psychological thriller is that Liliana Cavani chose to set this story of guilt, sexual abuse, conspiracy and human cruelty within the context of the unspeakable horrors of the Holocaust. Quite simply, this story is too complex to place it within the framework of post-WWII Europe. However, that being said, this is an extraordinary film. I had often heard that it eroticized sexual abuse. The truth is - there is nothing erotic about this film. There are moments of cinematic genius at play here. And, Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling are brilliant and perfectly cast in their roles.
June 16, 2014
You might want to take a shower after watching this weird nasty film but, you'll never forget it.
December 10, 2013
As it stands, I kind of hate The Night Porter. But that's not all I have to say about it - I intend to go in-depth at some point.
½ April 28, 2009
This one will stay with you for a long time. One of those once-you-see-it-you-can't-unsee-it type of deals. This would make for a wicked remake by Gaspar Noe.
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