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The Night Porter

The Night Porter (1974)

Hall of Fame Nudity!

Top Scene


It’s a tricky thing to turn human suffering into kinky entertainment. Nevertheless, director Liliana Cavani and her co-screenwriters (Italo Moscati, Barbara Alberti, Amedeo Pagani, and Anthony Forwood) gave it a shot with the erotic drama The Night Porter (1974) — not to be confused with the British romp The Night Porter (1930). Dirk Bogarde plays Maximilian Theo Aldorfer, a former Nazi officer who’s now working as a night porter in a Vienna hotel, circa 1957. In a just world, he’d spend eternity waiting on nagging customers with suitcases full of anvils. Instead, he gets lucky and runs into his former sex slave Lucia (Charlotte Rampling). In a surprise twist, Lucia doesn’t turn Maximilian in. Ironically, the former concentration camp prisoner decides to revive her sexual relationship with him! It’s all daring stuff, and this film certainly raised a lot of hackles when first released. Maybe that’s why Romy Schneider didn’t want the part of Lucia. However, other actresses (Isa Miranda, Hilda Gunther, and Nora Ricci) signed on to perform in the supporting cast. Despite the movie’s provocative and problematic nature, it did score nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay at the Nastro d’Argento Awards. And, of course, Mr. Skin would love to reward Ms. Rampling for flashing her three Bs just 13 minutes into the flick. The svelte stunner continues to bare her body throughout the pic. Mind you, the nudity is often under duress. In other words, The Night Porter isn’t an easy watch even if it makes you hard.