The Sleeping Tiger Reviews
Malcolm Arnold's score repeats thematically in varying contexts and intensity to provoke sympathy or lurid disgust. There is also an interesting use of sound editing applied to crime and chase scenarios which might be considered as anticipatory of Accident (1967).
Alexis Smith gives an emotionally intense performance rivaling Bogarde's sublimated inner conflict with a greater capacity for emotional violence. Losey uses mantelpiece mirrors and framing devices to confine his subjects even as they assure themselves that history is not repeating itself. And despite the tawdry and implausible script, the noir stylings and fine acting here elevate it well above most high budget films of any day.
"The Sleeping Tiger" is an overblown melodrama with just enough character development and film noir elements to make it interesting. A decent cast also helps the movie along quite nicely.
Dirk Bogarde--as the young career criminal who finds himself caught between a rock and a hard place, but who might find his way to a new life if he can go straight--and Alexis Smith--as a gorgeous and deeply twisted woman who has everything except a soul) give outstanding performances, with Alexander Knox providing a fine backdrop for them to play off, as he plays a bland but unshakably confident man of science who only has thoughts of his experiment.
There's nothing really outstanding about this British excursion into the film noir/crime drama genre, but there's also nothing particularly awful. It's one of those films that's worth checking out if you notice it included in a DVD multipack, or if it shows up on some cable channel, but it's not worth going out of your way for.
The Sleeping Tiger
Starring: Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Hugh Griffith, and Patricia McCarron
Diretor: Victor Hanbury (aka Joseph Losey)