The Night Porter 1975 ***

The pivotal, subversive poster image of Charlotte Rampling, cradling her breasts wearing nothing but trousers and a SS hat, has infiltrated pop culture to the extent that Kylie Minogue quoted it as an influence. Liliana Cavani’s intense film sees Rampling as a concentration camp victim who meets up with her captor Maximillian (Dirk Bogarde), only to embark on a sadomasochistic love affair with him in the Viennese hotel where he works. Opening up questions about sexual relationships and the Holocaust, Cavani was both feted and derided for taking an ambiguous stance on explosive material, but now it’s the finely judged and brave performances from Rampling and Bogarde, a long way from his Rank starlet days in Doctor in the House, that make The Night Porter such a haunting experience.


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