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The Sleeping Tiger (1954)

Approved | | Drama, Thriller | 8 October 1954 (USA)
After a convict breaks in a psychotherapist's home, he agrees to rehabilitation rather than arrest but the therapist's wife becomes infatuated with him.


Joseph Losey (as Victor Hanbury)


Maurice Moiseiwitsch (novel), Harold Buchman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Dirk Bogarde ... Frank Clemmons
Alexis Smith ... Glenda Esmond
Alexander Knox ... Dr. Clive Esmond
Hugh Griffith ... The Inspector
Patricia McCarron Patricia McCarron ... Sally Foster
Maxine Audley ... Carol
Glyn Houston ... Bailey
Harry Towb ... Harry, second criminal
Russell Waters Russell Waters ... Manager of Pearce & Mann
Billie Whitelaw ... Receptionist at Pearce & Mann
Fred Griffiths Fred Griffiths ... Taxi Driver
Esma Cannon ... Scrubwoman with ladder


Psychotherapist Dr. Clive Esmond (Alexander Knox) attempts to rehabilitate convict Frank Clemmens (Sir Dirk Bogarde) in his house after Frank tries to hold him up. The criminal cooperates rather than being handed over to the Police. The therapist's wife Glenda (Alexis Smith) becomes infatuated with the man in the hopes he will take her away.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


Drama | Thriller


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The first of five films in which Sir Dirk Bogarde was directed by Joseph Losey. See more »


Angry that Frank has left her Glenda wearing a black dress runs from the house, jumps in her car and drives off. Spotting Frank (Dirk Bogarde) walking along the road she stops and picks him up but she's now wearing a coat. See more »


Dr. Clive Esmond: What do you think of him, Glenda? Is he worth saving?
See more »

User Reviews

Alexis Smith at the mercy of the dangerous criminal Dirk Bogarde brought home by her husband.
23 July 2017 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

There is always something unpleasant and morbid about Joseph Losey's films as if they were innately self-destructive, you always sit waiting for the worst, and it always comes, but you never know how, and that's the worst of it.

This film is slightly different from his ordinary ones, with above all an impressing camera work slanting towards almost Bergmanesque expressionism, but the dominant trait is the impressing acting by the three main characters, Alexis Smith, always beautiful and stylish, Dirk Bogarde, always slyly intelligent and unpredictable, and Alexander Knox, always on the safe and right side of reason and humanity. He is here a psychologist venturing on the interesting but risky experiment of housing a criminal (Bogarde) instead of turning him over to the police, in an effort to straighten him out. He gets straightened out but at the cost of Alexis Smith, Dr. Knox' wife, who finds her own tiger inside herself. There is more than one tiger getting roused from sleep and every day routine in this psychological thriller of mainly reasoning and experimenting - there is a gun but no bloodshed. The raw music of saxophones constantly insisting on vulgarity adds to the decadent atmosphere of human decay and perdition, like in so many of Losey's films if not all of them, but this is certainly one of his best. The Soho scenes contrast sharply against the orderly clinic and home of Dr. Knox and add some extra suggestive noir perfume to the dark drama of passion that never should have been called forth. Alexis Smith is always excellent, but I have never seen her better than here. It's a film of many raised eyebrows and some worries, but it is brilliantly realized with impressing, convincing psychology and great intelligence all the way.

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Release Date:

8 October 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La bête s'éveille See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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