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Sleeping Dogs Lie (2006)

Stay (original title)
A recently engaged woman's life is thrown into turmoil after confessing to her fiancé that she once experimented with bestiality.


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3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mom / Wrestling Girl
Lisa Salzano ...
Wrestling Girl
Candiss Cogdill ...
Wrestling Girl
Harvey J. Alperin ...
Ernest Misko ...
Priest (as Ernie Misko)
Rest Area Mom
Kira Burri ...
Rest Area Girl


An impulsive sexual encounter from her past haunts Amy, an otherwise seemingly normal young woman with a bright future and nice-guy fiancé. But her fiancé has suggested that the couple be completely honest and tell each other everything! When Amy finally relents, encouraged to tell the truth by her coworker and mother (neither of whom really knows what she has to disclose), and reveals her secret, all hell breaks loose. Written by Geoffrey Gilmore, Sundance Film Festival Director

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Give the dog a bone... See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong and aberrant sexual content, drug use and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 2007 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Sleeping Dogs Lie  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,890 (USA) (20 October 2006)


$10,890 (USA) (20 October 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This entire project was shot in 16 days in and around Los Angeles in Guerrilla Filmmaking style. See more »


When Amy and Mom come in to wake up John and Dougie in the morning, the piano is sitting on Dougie's crotch. Then it is not there. Then, Mom moves it back over his crotch before they leave the room. See more »


[first lines]
Amy: My name is Any and, yes, at college I blew my dog.
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Crazy Credits

No animal was harmed or pleasured in the making of this movie. See more »


Referenced in Strictly Background (2007) See more »


Performed by Charles Trenet
Courtesy of France Music Corp c/o Sunkin Law Corp. and Angel Records/EMI Classics
See more »

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User Reviews

An unusual film
18 March 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

You fall in love. You know, you get that really special feeling, an amazing connection . . . ? "This could be the one," you say, "I feel I could tell this person anything." Total love, total honesty, total forgiveness. Unconditional.

Not!! Don't see this film with your fiancé, see it on your own . . .

Sleeping Dogs Lie is not standard rom-com, a tidy melodrama, or a gross-out comedy. It second-guesses the audience with its unconventional examination of relationships and the ideas we maybe too easily take for granted. Like the emotional headbanger movie, Closer, you will perhaps want time to think of the answers to give your beloved before they ask questions based on this movie. The best time to analyse relationships is when you're not in one. The second best time, as our intelligent, pretty, 26yr old protagonist discovers, is when you're learning from your past mistakes.

Amy (Melinda Page Hamilton) is fairly sure that John is the guy for her. They reach the, "Tell me something you've never told anyone else" stage. Yes, we're talking sexual things. But not on screen - just verbal and emotional. Trouble is, Amy is worried John won't love her if she tells him of her dark teenage misdemeanour.

If you have done something bad, that didn't hurt anyone else, you didn't intend any harm, and no-one found out, is telling your other half part of that 'total honesty' equation? Sharing feels good (selfish, but OK). Telling them before they find out from someone else is probably good tactics (selfish really, from fear, or at best protecting trust). But love for the other person isn't technically part of it. Not that you believe that. Amy goes for trial and error. John gives her a 'skeleton' and she wimps out. She gives him a made-up confession that he finds a turn on. For now.

When someone else finds out it might be accidental - but it can come back to haunt. Honesty involves more than intellectual decision. What if your mind 'forgives' someone but your sexual urge doesn't? And if you get the moral high ground, will that tempt you to lie so as to keep it? The film's resolution works on a 'minimising hurt to others' idea, which is quite convincing. Am I going to tell you Amy's secret? No - cos if I do, it will give you the wrong idea of the film, and it's in the first reel anyway.

This is a low budget movie ($50,000) that was very well received at the Sundance and San Sebastian film festivals. Acting is excellent, but the characters are not always very rounded and it is too uneven, uncategorisable a film for general viewing. Audience distance is made even greater by use of techniques like contrasting music ("When You're Smiling"' plays as they drive through miserable silence). I was about to get bored with it, but was already wondering if it was taking an avant-garde approach rather than being just an amateurish mainstream film. It comes very close to the bone when characters 'demand' that the object of their 'love' is 'honest' with them. (Do you have the right to insist on information about that part of someone's life that doesn't concern you?) The dilemmas are reflected into other relationships. Amy has to attend a funeral (she has fallen out with her Father - "I need you to love me, Daddy"), and needs a cigarette. "I didn't want you to know I knew," her father says.

Sleeping Dogs Lie may seem slapdash or tedious if you don't buy into the cerebral and emotional challenge. If you do, you may find it, as I did, quite edifying as well - as heartbreakingly poignant.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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