The Night Porter (1974)
AKA Portiere di notte, Il
Directed by Liliana Cavani
Writing credits Barbara Alberti Liliana Cavani
Dirk Bogarde.... Maximilian Theo Aldorfer
Charlotte Rampling.... Lucia Atherton
Philippe Leroy.... Klaus
Max and Lucia embrace their fate. They didn't meet under the most ideal circumstances. Best not to let the Holocaust get in the way of a good S/M relationship. They are in love. No one will stand in their way. Not the police nor the former SS officers who want to "file" Lucia away with the rest of their past. Max was in some sort of self help group for former Nazi's. Having a cathartic confession wasn't going to work for him. He needed to hang on to his past and Lucia was part of it.
I guess you could look at the movie two ways. One, as sort of classy exploitation. It's not too brutal but anything with Nazi decadence gives off a sleazy vibe. Two, as a story of obsession between former lovers who won't let go. Either scenario worked for me. Both actors were quite good at conveying obsession over each other. They were happy again although they knew it wasn't going to last. Besides, there are a ton of movies about old lovers finding each other again. This one just happened to be a little extreme. I liked it.
SCORE: 3 out of 4 because they're reunited and it feels so good!!