The Night Porter

The Night Porter (Italian: Il portiere di notte) is a 1974 Italian erotic psychological drama film. Directed and co-written by Liliana Cavani, the film stars Dirk Bogarde and Charlotte Rampling, and features Philippe Leroy and Gabriele Ferzetti. Its themes of sexual and sadomasochistic obsession have made the film controversial since its initial release, dividing critics over its artistic value.


The film is set in 1957. During World War II, Maximilian Theo Aldorfer, a former Nazi Schutzstaffel (SS) officer who had posed as a doctor to take sensational photographs in concentration camps, and Lucia Atherton, a Holocaust survivor, had an ambiguous sadomasochistic relationship. Flashbacks show Max tormenting Lucia, but also acting as her protector.