Cast & Crew
After London psychiatrist Dr. Clive Esmond overpowers Frank Clements, a young man who attempted to rob him at gunpoint, Clive arranges for Frank to avoid prison by spending six months in Clive's home, where he will undergo experimental observation and treatment. Although Frank has already served time in jail for robbery and assault, Clive feels that he can help him. When Clive's wife Glenda returns from a vacation, she does not object to Frank's presence in their home, but their maid, Sally Foster, announces that she will be leaving, as she does not want to live with a criminal. That evening, after Clive leaves to deliver a lecture, Frank verbally spars with Glenda and Clive's clinical associate Carol, surprising them with his intelligence and arguing that, contrary to some psychiatric theses, people are born the way they are and are not conditioned by upbringing. Frank later physically intimidates Sally and threatens further harm if she tries to leave. The next day, Glenda introduces Frank to horse riding. During a therapy session, Frank tells Clive that his mother died when he was seven years old and that his father, a soldier, remarried. The sessions continue, interspersed with riding activities, until Frank propositions Glenda, who tells him that she is not interested in him and has little sympathy for him as she, too, was from a broken home, but made a way for herself in the world. Frank, however, tells her that she is empty and hungry, a tight wire about to snap. Later, after Frank has slipped out of the house to visit friends at a Soho jazz club, Clive receives a visit from police inspector Simmons, who has learned that Frank is living with the Esmonds and is concerned about their safety. Clive investigates Frank's background and discovers that Frank has lied about his parents and that his mother ran away from his bullying father. Soon after, Frank again leaves the house to rob a jewelry store with Harry, a former associate. Although Simmons suspects that Frank committed the robbery, Frank tells Clive that he is innocent. Feeling ignored by her work-obsessed husband, Glenda asks Frank to take her to the jazz club where they dance intimately. The next day, Glenda witnesses Frank assaulting Sally and attempts to beat him, but ends up kissing him passionately. Glenda and Frank then have a torrid affair until one day when Clive finds them entangled in the kitchen. Glenda lies to Clive that there have been no prior indiscretions, but that same night returns with Frank to the club and gets drunk. Later, Mr. Bailey, Sally's fiancé, tells Clive that she was assaulted by Frank. When Bailey insists that the incident should be reported to the police, Clive helps Frank by buying Bailey's silence. After Frank uses Clive's gun to hold up a small business, he hides the cash in the house. Simmons again suspects Frank is the perpetrator, but Clive provides Frank with an alibi for the time of the robbery, even though Simmons warns the psychiatrist that committing perjury could ruin him. When Simmons leaves, Clive asks Frank to give him the cash so that he can return it. Frank then breaks down and tells Clive that his stepmother blamed him for his father's fatal heart attack because he hated his father and wished him dead. After Clive diagnoses that Frank's criminal behavior is a result of his trying to create his own punishment for his father's death, Frank passes out. Feeling that he has made a major breakthrough in Frank's case and regretting his neglect of Glenda, Clive apologizes to her and suggests that they take a vacation. Glenda, however, has become obsessed with Frank and tells him that she is prepared to leave Clive and go away with him. Soon, the six month arrangement between Frank and Clive ends and Frank is free to leave. Although Glenda expects to go with him, Frank, grateful for Clive's treatment, suddenly announces that he plans to confess his crimes to Simmons. Frank then tells Clive that Simmons has agreed to "forget" Clive's perjurious alibi. Meanwhile, Glenda is driven further over the edge when Frank tells her that he will never see her again because he cannot continue to hurt Clive. Glenda tells Clive that Frank has attacked her and Clive goes after Frank with his gun. After shots are fired, Frank tells Glenda that he thought that was what she wanted him to do. Glenda then confesses everything to Clive and tells him that Frank was leaving her. Clive then reveals that he did not kill Frank and that Frank has left the house. Now hysterical, Glenda drives off and finds Frank. After convincing him to get into her car, she tells him that Clive is crazy and is going to kill him. When Frank insists that he wants to talk to with Clive, Glenda attempts to kill them both by deliberately colliding with a truck. Frank wrestles the wheel from her, but the car careens off the road, crashes through a billboard and overturns. Glenda is killed, but Frank survives.
W. H. Lindop
What do you think of him, Glenda? Is he worth saving?- Dr. Clive Esmond
The opening titles include the statement "Copyright Insignia Films Limited MCMLIV," but the film was not registered for copyright in the U.S. "Derek Frye" was a pseudonym for black-listed writers Carl Foreman and Harold Buchman. According to a Hollywood Reporter news item, Foreman's and Buchman's writing credits were officially reinstated by the WGA in 1997. Although British producer Victor Hanbury is also credited with direction, the film was directed by Joseph Losey, another black-listed American. These subterfuges were necessary to avoid potential problems with the film's U.S. release. Some of the backing for the film came through Foreman and Losey's New York lawyer, Sidney Cohn, who operated as Dorast Pictures. The Sleeping Tiger was the first of five films in the 1950s and 1960s that were directed by Losey and starred Dirk Bogarde.
Released in United States 1954
This was director Losey's first film made in England after being blacklisted by HUAC.
Released in United States 1954