The Night Porter
Max (Dirk Bogarde) is a night porter in a Vienna hotel in the 1950’s. When beautiful Lucia (Charlotte Rampling) checks in, they recognise each other. Max was an SS officer in a Nazi concentration camp who had abused and tortured the then-teenage Lucia, a prisoner. But when her husband, an orchestra conductor, needs to leave to continue his tour, Lucia makes excuses and stays behind - as she and Max find themselves compelled to reignite what had in fact been their former intense sadomasochistic relationship. Max is a reluctant member of a group of former SS officers who are ruthlessly covering up their pasts. Thinking that she will denounce them, they soon consider Lucia a threat and urge Max to hand her over to them. He refuses and hides out with Lucia, while his former comrades exert their threats… This is the story of an ‘amour-fou’, an obsessive passion, which compels two lovers to be together despite their being lucidly aware of contravening all morality, even their own; and despite the certainty of their oncoming tragic destiny. Lillian Cavani’s tale of passion, beyond all morality or societal construct, has been controversial ever since its initial release in 1974 – provoking indefinable overwhelming emotions which are wildly conflicting. Now, over 45 years later, Liliana Cavani’s story of obsessive passion and tragic destiny, is presented in this definitive 4K restoration, overseen by Cavani herself and finally doing justice to her challenging and extraordinary vision.
Starring Charlotte Rampling, Dirk Bogarde, Philippe Leroy
Director Liliana Cavani