Film Review: The Sleeping Tiger (1954)

Release Date: June 21st, 1954 (London premiere)
Directed by: Joseph Losey
Written by: Derek Frye
Based on: The Sleeping Tiger by Maurice Moiseiwitsch
Music by: Malcolm Arnold
Cast: Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Dirk Bogarde

Anglo-Amalgamated Film, 89 Minutes

Review:

“What do you think of him, Glenda? Is he worth saving?” – Dr. Clive Esmond

I haven’t seen a lot of British film-noir, so I figured that I’d give The Sleeping Tiger a shot. Plus, it had a pretty decent rating on IMDb and looked to mostly have positive reviews.

The film’s plot seemed interesting. It’s about a thug that tries to rob a psychiatrist. He fails miserably but the doctor gives him a choice: get arrested or live with the doctor, as he tries to reform the criminal. The thug picks the latter. The doctor’s wife initially hates the arrangement but before you know it, she’s cheating on her husband with the bad boy. Obviously, we then get some hardcore film-noir drama and the thriller aspect of the film comes alive.

Unfortunately, this picture just didn’t resonate with me. It was pretty drab and drawn out and just didn’t excite. I thought the premise was good; the film just didn’t deliver.

The acting was okay but nothing special, the cinematography was average, everything was just sort of bland.

The final moments of the film were fairly good and would have been a good ending to a good noir but I just didn’t care about the weight of it all, as everything leading up to it fell flat.

Joseph Losey, the director, was actually American but he moved to London after Hollywood blacklisted him for being a communist. He had made other film-noir pictures but the only one I’ve seen is The Prowler with Van Heflin. I heard that his remake of Fritz Lang’s M is pretty good though.

Sadly, this film just didn’t do a thing for me but that doesn’t mean I’m not interesting in checking out more of Losey’s work.

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