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The Sleeping Tiger [VHS] (1954)

3.1 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Hugh Griffith, Patricia McCarron
  • Directors: Joseph Losey
  • Writers: Carl Foreman, Harold Buchman, Maurice Moiseiwitsch
  • Producers: Joseph Losey, Stuart Levy, Victor Hanbury
  • Format: PAL, Black & White, Mono
  • Language: English
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: 3 July 2000
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004COFI
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 276,359 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A psychiatrist brings a criminal into his home as an experiment, after the thief was caught red-handed by the psychiatrist. But the psychiatrist's wife falls in love with the crook. This was Joseph Losey's first British film after he was black listed in America and consequently he directed it under a pseudonym, Victor Hanbury.

Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

This 1954 psychological thriller is one of the early films of Joseph Losey, a director of great if misanthropic insight into the human heart. Losey was a leftie exiled from the US in the wake of the McCarthy witchhunts, with a solid CV of interesting noir-ish projects behind him, including the remake of Fritz Lang's "M", "The Boy with Green Hair", and "The Prowler". Because of his blacklisting he works here under the pseudonym Victor Hanbury as producer and director. This, like many of Losey's early movies, is difficult to track down, but it is worth the effort because his work of the 50s and early 60s digs deeper than the more arty and pretentious post-"Servant" offerings.

At the centre of the movie is a rerun of the long-standing debate of Nature vs Nurture. Are criminals born or made? Either way, are they marked out as special, or is there something of the criminal in everyone?

Frank Clement (Dirk Bogarde) is adopted by a psychiatrist, Clive Esmond, (Alexander Knox) in the belief that his criminality is the result of childhood trauma and can be cured. His wife, Glenda, (Alexis Smith) is drawn into an affair with the young tough. When he is - or seems to be - cured, Frank decides to end the affair, which precipitates the final crisis which I won't spoil for you.

Losey's mature style shown most notably in "The Servant", is already well in evidence, his baroque tracking shots, his use of mirrors to convey menace and ambiguity, interiors which somehow parallel the states of mind of the protagonists. There are plenty of Noir elements in the shadows and the silences, and interestingly it makes great play with class elements - Frank is to be cured through regular aristocratic exercise like riding and fishing, Glenda has to dress down to go to Frank's Soho haunts.
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Format: VHS Tape
The Sleeping Tiger is directed by Joseph Losey (using the alias Victor Hanbury) and adapted to screenplay by Derek Frye from the novel written by Maurice Moiseiwitswch. It stars Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Patricia McCarron, Maxine Audley and Hugh Griffith. Music is by Malcolm Arnold and cinematography by Harry Waxman.

When criminal Frank Clemmons (Bogarde) fails in his attempt to mug psychiatrist Dr. Clive Esmond (Knox), he is surprised to be invited to stay at the good doctor's house instead of going to prison. The doctor's motives are simple, he believes he can reform Frank whilst studying him at close quarters. Frank is only too happy to accept the offer, even more so when a relationship begins to form with Dr. Esmond's wife, Glenda (Smith). However, as passions stir and the tiger awakens, it's unlikely to end happily...

Blacklisted in Hollywood, Joseph Losey would find a home in the UK and produce some superb movies. The Sleeping Tiger has thematic links to two other great Losey movies, The Prowler (1951) and The Servant (1963), a sort of meat in the sandwich if you will. Dripping with psychologically redemptive sweat and pulsing with sexual frustrations, it's a film very much concerned with tightening the spring until it eventually explodes. And when it does it's well worth the wait, for there is no pandering to happy days endings, this has a kicker of a twist and it beats a black heart.

In the interim some patience is required as the key relationships at the centre of the plotting are steadily drawn, with Losey and Frye tantalising us with shards of character interest at regular intervals.
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Prospective purchasers of this label's issue of the film should be warned that the transfer quality is very, very poor indeed, and they'd be well advised to skip it altogether! If, however, you feel you must have a copy, the disc, despite the Region One restriction notice, is actually Region-Free, so will play on Region Two players; but you've been warned!
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The Sleeping Tiger is directed by Joseph Losey (using the alias Victor Hanbury) and adapted to screenplay by Derek Frye from the novel written by Maurice Moiseiwitswch. It stars Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Patricia McCarron, Maxine Audley and Hugh Griffith. Music is by Malcolm Arnold and cinematography by Harry Waxman.

When criminal Frank Clemmons (Bogarde) fails in his attempt to mug psychiatrist Dr. Clive Esmond (Knox), he is surprised to be invited to stay at the good doctor's house instead of going to prison. The doctor's motives are simple, he believes he can reform Frank whilst studying him at close quarters. Frank is only too happy to accept the offer, even more so when a relationship begins to form with Dr. Esmond's wife, Glenda (Smith). However, as passions stir and the tiger awakens, it's unlikely to end happily...

Blacklisted in Hollywood, Joseph Losey would find a home in the UK and produce some superb movies. The Sleeping Tiger has thematic links to two other great Losey movies, The Prowler (1951) and The Servant (1963), a sort of meat in the sandwich if you will. Dripping with psychologically redemptive sweat and pulsing with sexual frustrations, it's a film very much concerned with tightening the spring until it eventually explodes. And when it does it's well worth the wait, for there is no pandering to happy days endings, this has a kicker of a twist and it beats a black heart.

In the interim some patience is required as the key relationships at the centre of the plotting are steadily drawn, with Losey and Frye tantalising us with shards of character interest at regular intervals.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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