MINI MOVIE REVIEW: “The Night Porter” (1974)

Apparently wartime rationing extended to uniform shirts.

Apparently wartime rationing extended to uniform shirts.

The Night Porter features Dirk Bogarde as Max, a former Nazi from an elite SS squad, and the lovely Charlotte Rampling as Lucia, a young daughter of a Socialist revolutionary who was imprisoned in Max’s concentration camp.  Over time, Lucia became a plaything of Max, and they embarked on a sadomasochistic relationship that transcended the boundaries of captor and prisoner.

The movie begins 15 years after the end of war, and due to a chance meeting in Berlin, Max and Lucia are reunited — Lucia is now the bored wife of an opera conductor, and Max is a night porter (no, really??) in a hotel that would probably rank about 3 stars on for basic amenities although they do seem to provide male bedmates for their rich American tourists.  Max is also still in touch with his SS buddies — in fact, they have a mission to attempt to remove their histories from the military annals while at the same time reliving the good ol’ Nazi days.

There are oddly lit flashbacks, people stepping barefoot on glass, off-screen murders, and a scene of one goofy-ass production of The Magic Flute.   Once again, the Germans prove there is no word in their language that means fluffy.  However, the whole thing is offset by a dude dancing Stravinsky’s The Firebird in only a dance belt.  Gotta love those Italians!


About The Knitting Cinephile

I'm obsessed with good yarn, bad movies, and the Hubster.
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