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Friday, June 14, 2013

The Night Porter (1974) d. Liliana Cavani

Charlotte Rampling in The Night Porter (1974) d. Liliana Cavani

Movie Review
The Night Porter (1974)
d. Liliana Cavani
Criterion Collection #59

   The Night Porter was a real Criterion Collection win. It had everything: 70s Vienna, Nazis, S&M sex, concentration camp flash backs and Charlotte Rampling giving an amazing performance.  According to the accompanying critical essay at the Criterion web site, this movie was controversial when it was released in 1974.  Critics accused it of exploiting the Holocaust.  It still packs a punch close to forty years later (in other news, 1974 was 39 years ago so old.)

Charlotte Rampling seen in flashback pre-Concentration Camp in The Night Porter

  Truth be told I wasn't that into S&M but I've had some interesting conversations with people and done a little research in the last several months, and now my thought is that if that makes someone happy, they should just do it and not ask too many questions about it.  Different strokes for different folks, am I right?

Charlotte Rampling, screen beauty.

     The over all impact of The Night Porter is "Last Tango in Paris meets the Holocaust" but I must confess I was absolutely riveted by The Night Porter.  Starting with the scenery, continuing with the costumes and performances, and ending with the emotional murder of the star-crossed lovers by the creepy former Nazi's who endlessly harass the couple, The Night Porter is a film that will stick with you and it really, really, stands out on a number of levels from the other Criterion Collection films I've taken in up to this point.

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