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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but compelling
When this came out there was outcry, naturally; you've got an ex-SS officer in hiding and a concentration camp victim stumbling upon him. Oh yes, and there's a violent S&M relationship between them. That's your money shot, baby. How could it get anymore crass, right? Not quite.
Set in 50's Vienna (shot in mute, subdued and dank colours), Max is undercover as a...
Published on 30 Mar 2005 by Taylor Glasby

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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality problems
I was pleased to find this film on DVD at last, and keen to replace my old VHS video of it. It is a stunning, powerful film,that evolves with every viewing.

It is a classic.

BUT...

This DVD is watchable but the picture quality is awful in some areas.The film becomes very dark, brown and grainy till you can hardly see the actors...
Published on 22 Sep 2006 by Pandora


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72 of 75 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strange but compelling, 30 Mar 2005
By 
Taylor Glasby (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
When this came out there was outcry, naturally; you've got an ex-SS officer in hiding and a concentration camp victim stumbling upon him. Oh yes, and there's a violent S&M relationship between them. That's your money shot, baby. How could it get anymore crass, right? Not quite.
Set in 50's Vienna (shot in mute, subdued and dank colours), Max is undercover as a night porter in a hotel when Lucia, his captive, turns up with her other half for a stay. They set eyes on each other and fall back into their old relationship. The 'sex scenes' are not quite sex orientated, it's all about the power struggle, which is depicted in unflinching realism. The glass shards in the feet moment is eye watering, to say the least.
Dirk Bogarde is utterly captivating, strong and wormily weak simutaneously as he grapples with the reappearance of Lucia and the fact that he is being interrogated by a group of his fellow SS officers with regards to keeping a lid on their actions and pasts, but indulging in some creepy confessions to one another as a purging tool.
Night Porter is a confusing film. The end comes quickly and suddenly but leaves some very opened ended plot lines. It's political and dark, sometimes beautiful but ultimately sad. Forget the shock tactics of using Nazis, this is really about the complexity and decay of human emotion, and the cruelty of mankind when there is the scent of power in the air.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing and moving tale., 7 April 2009
I had heard much about the supposed sado-masochistic content of The Night Porter, and I suppose, in a basic sense, it is there in the apparently willing sexual and emotional surrender of victim to captor. However, there is so much more at the heart of this film than kinky sex and shock-value. There is a frailty to every principle character; Dirk Bogarde's Max is not virile, but, at least in the present, appears broken and somewhat fragile . Charlotte Rampling beautifully captures Lucia's desperate search for meaning in the brutalities of her past. The shock-value of the film lies ultimately in the fact that it tests our moral limitations-in one of the extra features on the DVD, an interview with director Lilliana Cavani, she quotes a former concentration camp internee, who declared that her hatred of her German captors lay in the fact that they showed her a side of herself that she didn't know existed. A beautiful and tragic film in many ways that is, as Bogarde insisted, an unconventional love story at it's heart. Bogarde brings to his role all his characteristic grace and elegance, with occasional bursts of brutality, and Rampling carries her character's emotional baggage artfully on those narrow shoulders.
The quality of the DVD transfer could be a little clearer in some scenes, but it's worth buying as it is generally sound.
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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quality problems, 22 Sep 2006
I was pleased to find this film on DVD at last, and keen to replace my old VHS video of it. It is a stunning, powerful film,that evolves with every viewing.

It is a classic.

BUT...

This DVD is watchable but the picture quality is awful in some areas.The film becomes very dark, brown and grainy till you can hardly see the actors faces.Sometimes the faces are a blur!

This does ruin the film in places, for me...as I know the film so well.The dramatic power of the scenes is damaged by this in my opinion.

I assume the film stock has decayed beyond repair? Why has it not been moved to DVD with care? Why has such a poor copy been selected for distribution?

And yet I have a video recorded from British television that is pristine! The film is crystal clear, full of light, with sharp contrasts between the reds, whites and blacks. The 'Reunion'scene in the hotel room instead of being a murky-black fog is visible again, the actors faces revealed.

If you love this powerful film I advise recording a TV copy for a good home copy.

As with 'The Dogs of War' and 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'(both edited before DVD release) It looks as if this film has not made its transition to a new format either. I shall be hanging onto my old old VHS copy again!!!!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Transfer!, 2 Aug 2012
By 
Robert (St. Neots, Cambs, ENGLAND United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Night Porter [Blu-ray] [1974] (Blu-ray)
This review is rightly for the UK BLU-RAY RELEASE of the 30th of July 2012. This transfer is excellent- sharp, clear picture and lovely sound. When I first heard that Anchor Bay were issuing this classic on Blu-ray I was at first worried as they made a real mess of the UK DVD a few years ago. However, another organisation has actually done the transfer which I believe is the same party who did it in France not long ago. Anchor Bay own the UK rights and they have simply just packaged it for a piece of the action. So we can all be at ease! I give 5 out of 5 for the picture and sound quality but sadly there are no extras hence my rating. But for the price of just £8.00 that I paid it's great value!
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 stars for the film but 1 star for the DVD release!!, 20 Sep 2006
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I was ecstatic at the prospect of a DVD release for this unfairly derided and neglected minor-masterpiece and the DVD packaging certainly gives the impression that great care has been taken with what might be the only DVD release this film is given.

Imagine, then, my disappointment at the picture quality! It is little better than my worn-out 1980s VHS tape and is a great letdown. What a shame! What a missed opportunity!

I would still recommend buying this release but would advise waiting for a more reasonable price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Night Porter First Time on HD in the UK, 12 Sep 2012
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This review is from: The Night Porter [Blu-ray] [1974] (Blu-ray)
The picture is significantly improved over the old Anchor Bay release - the colours are far more natural. Sound is likewise.

The interviews on the original DVD have however not been ported across so maybe we will have a 40th Anniversary edition to look forward to?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematic Art, 16 Mar 2008
This is not really a film about Nazis, nor is it a film about sex. Although both are contained within it. The sex acts are not sensual or sexually provocative. Any sensuality is annulled by the harsh lighting and the circumstances. This is more a film about the depth of human depravity and an exploration of the morally perverse side of human nature. Bogarde and Rampling are extremely watchable. I do wonder how this film was ever made, but I'm glad it was. This is a very brave film.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iconic and vital trash-art., 16 Aug 2009
Welcome to the true wellspring of the most controversial and generally hated sub-genre in all of Exploitation cinema's vast universe; Naziploitation.

Although the idea of WW2 concentration camp detainees and their Nazi captors being used for exploitative `thrills' was first spat out at the screen in the form of infamous `Nasty' "Love Camp 7" in 1969, that film actually played like a `Women in Prison' flick more than anything else.
It was certainly not erotic, fetishist, violently nasty or decadent.

In the same year Visconti's excellent "The Damned" (also starring Bogarde with Rampling in a support role) offered up our first real mix of eroticism and sumptuous decadence with the fetishistic power of the Nazi image.
But Visconti's film was a serious dramatic work and importantly set pre-war so as such none of the other essential trappings of the Naziploitation genre were present.

Then, a surprisingly long 5 years later, Liliana Cavani gave us "The Night Porter".
Here for the first time the controversial elements of out and out Nazi imagery and ideology mixed with the sight of naked men and women huddled into a dank concentration camp at the sadistic mercy of their all powerful captors was unleashed upon the worldwide cinema audience.
And it all came with the coating of art house credibility.

But for all its art house trappings, philosophical musings and moments of deftly acted deep character study (from two excellent lead performances) it is in fact the glue of out and out exploitation that ultimately holds the film together.

"The Night Porter" is a film that some will instantly hate for even existing, some will hate once they get half way through as they gaze at the clock, while others will pick through the film's pacing faults and less than successful ex-Nazi characters to discover a groundbreaking mix of art house extremity, serious psychological study and out and out exploitation filled with powerful moments, masterful cinematography, iconic images and a truly notorious cinematic legacy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superior high-definition transfer of Cavani's moody psychosexual romance, 9 Aug 2012
By 
Gary Vidmar (Colorado Springs) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Night Porter [Blu-ray] [1974] (Blu-ray)
Anchor Bay offers up the same clean transfer of THE NIGHT PORTER on blu-ray as the French Wild-Side version (negligible for its forced French subtitles). The restored elements often look better than the original theatrical prints. There are a couple of DTS-HD audio options; both 2.0 and 5.1 options present the original, monaural English-language version of the soundtrack. It's region-B only, and requires multi-region player capabilities for US collectors.
The film offers up an oppressive atmosphere of decadence, but isn't as compelling an examination of post-war, repressive guilt that it should be; and the self-destructive nature of the paternal sexual relationship on display slowly loses impact. Well worth checking out, inspite of the criticism.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No subtitles on this DVD, 2 Feb 2008
Information pour les français : contrairement à ce qui est marqué, il n'y a pas de sous-titres disponibles sur ce DVD (même en anglais), pas non plus de version italienne...
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The Night Porter [Blu-ray] [1974]
The Night Porter [Blu-ray] [1974] by Liliana Cavani (Blu-ray - 2012)
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