6.6/10
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20 user 6 critic

The Sleeping Tiger (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Thriller | 8 October 1954 (USA)
A psychotherapist attempts to rehabilitate a convict in his home after he breaks in. The criminal cooperates rather than being handed over to the police. The therapist's wife becomes ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Victor Hanbury)

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Frank Clemmons
...
Glenda Esmond
...
Dr. Clive Esmond
...
The Inspector
Patricia McCarron ...
Sally Foster
...
Carol
...
Bailey
...
Harry, second criminal
Russell Waters ...
Manager of Pearce & Mann
...
Receptionist at Pearce & Mann
Fred Griffiths ...
Taxi Driver
...
Scrubwoman with ladder
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Storyline

A psychotherapist attempts to rehabilitate a convict in his home after he breaks in. The criminal cooperates rather than being handed over to the police. The therapist's wife becomes infatuated with the man in the hopes he will take her away. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hidden deep within every woman is a Sleeping Tiger ... when aroused it can turn a saint into a sinner ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La bête s'éveille  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cinematographer Harry Waxman launched into a tirade of abuse at Joseph Losey, when, after returning from the toilet found that the set up for a scene had been changed, lamps moved in breach of film set etiquette. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Clive Esmond: What do you think of him, Glenda? Is he worth saving?
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User Reviews

 
Not tiger but tigress – Alexis Smith walks away with the movie
29 August 2002 | by (Western New York) – See all my reviews

A more apt title would have been The Sleeping Tigress, for it's Alexis Smith's performance that holds this movie together and lends it erotic friction. Despite her old-money looks and regal carriage, Smith numbered among the many talents which Hollywood mis- and under- used. She claimed attention in two late-forties Bogart vehicles, Conflict (where she was good) and The Two Mrs. Carrolls (in which she was even better, and held her own against Barbara Stanwyck). But most of her movie career consisted of mediocre roles – the ones the star actresses turned down or had to refuse owing to other commitments. (It wasn't until Stephen Sondheim's Follies on Broadway in the ‘70s that her own star shone).

In this film from Joseph Losey's English exile following the Hollywood witch hunt, she plays the bored wife of psychotherapist Alexander Knox (and with him pottering around the house, who wouldn't be bored?). Bleeding-heart Knox takes a troubled young man with a prison record (Dirk Bogarde) under his roof in hopes of performing a therapeutic Pygmalion job on him. At first Smith acts snooty, then grows intrigued, and finally throws herself at Bogarde with pent-up abandon.

Comes the crunch as Knox, in a three-minute Freudian breakthrough reminiscent of Lee J. Cobb's instant rehabilitation of William Holden in The Dark Past, turns the lying, thieving, abusive Bogarde into a contrite milquetoast. When Bogarde then bids her farewell, Smith careens into dementia every bit as swiftly as Bogarde was healed and feigns an assault in hopes that Knox will defend her `honor' with that gun every therapist keeps in his desk drawer....

It's a lame story that might have been more convincing in an American context; the London setting and British conventions (in particular Knox's) stifle it. Bogarde started out playing this sort of charming wrong'un but isn't especially memorable here (except for his towering pompadour that must have been borrowed from Mario Lanza). But Smith's feral feline makes The Sleeping Tiger worth the ticket price.


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