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The Sleeping Tiger (1954)

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.

Director:

Joseph Losey (as Victor Hanbury)

Writers:

Maurice Moiseiwitsch (novel), Harold Buchman (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Director: Philip Leacock
Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Jon Whiteley, Michael Hordern
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Cast

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
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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:

A saint turned sinner ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When this film first appeared, the direction was credited to Victor Hanbury, a real-life producer, who only agreed to take the credit when the actual director, the blacklisted Joseph Losey, insisted that this would be a great help to him, as he needed the work. Although several versions of the film, including the DVD, still credit Hanbury, there are prints where Losey is credited under his own name. The first several times it was shown on British television, in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Losey had the credit. See more »

Quotes

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

 
THE SLEEPING TIGER (Joseph Losey, 1954) ***
21 February 2007 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

A certain Victor Hanbury is credited with directing this remarkable psychological drama but that won't fool any of Joseph Losey's admirers since it shares not only thematic similarities with one of his most notable American films, THE PROWLER (1951), but was indeed the turning point of his career in many ways: blacklisted by Hollywood for his Communist leanings, Losey fled first to Italy and then to Britain, remaining in Europe for the rest of his days. THE SLEEPING TIGER also marked the start of a fruitful collaboration (resulting in five films) between Losey and star Dirk Bogarde, who here shows a definite maturity miles away from the bland matinée idol roles he typically played during this period; the film itself has an intensity not found in contemporary British cinema.

Alexis Smith (terrific in one of her last starring roles) and Alexander Knox (playing his part in the Glenn Ford manner – where a quiet exterior conceals a strong personality, hence the film's title) are the married couple whose sheltered suburban lives are invaded by smart but incorrigible thug Bogarde; Knox is a psychiatrist whom the young man had tried to hold up, but has the tables turned on him and is subsequently kept on in the former's house as a 'guinea pig' – echoes of BLIND ALLEY (1939) and THE DARK PAST (1948) – where he stirs up the passionate instincts of the doctor's frustrated American wife. Needless to say, there's no happy ending for any of the characters: the climax provides plenty of fireworks and twists – with Losey's ironic symbolism being maintained till the film's very last shot. Composer Malcolm Arnold adapts his score to each of the film's moods, alternating between the sleazy and the histrionic.

Unfortunately, the poor-quality Public Domain print I watched bears some evident signs of wear-and-tear as there are a handful of jarring jump-cuts throughout (resulting in a running-time of 87 minutes against the official 89); several years back, the film was released on PAL VHS but no official DVD is in sight yet in any region (a status, alas, in common with the majority of Losey's work prior to the 1960s).


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