The Sleeping Tiger


Directed By

Joseph Losey


The Sleeping Tiger was the first collaboration between Dirk Bogarde and director Joseph Losey, and marked the beginning of one of British cinema’s most important creative unions, later films they made together include King & Country, Accident and The Servant.

On its initial theatrical release, Victor Hanbury, the film’s producer, was credited as director rather than Joseph Losey. Blacklisted at the time after refusing to testify before the 1951 House Committee on Un-American Activities, and in desperate need of work, Losey convinced the producer to take the credit.

A psychiatrist, Clive Esmond (Alexander Knox, Accident, Chase A Crooked Shadow, The Divided Heart) catches young gunman Frank Clemens (Dirk Bogarde,) breaking into his house. Rather than send him to prison, Esmond invites the delinquent to stay at his home as a social guinea pig, believing that he can curb the fugitive’s criminal tendencies. The dubious experiment is threatened, however, when the youth begins an affair with Esmond’s wife (Alexis Smith, The Age of Innocence, Night and Day).

Made a full 9 years before they reunited for the seminal The Servant, The Sleeping Tiger offers an early glimpse at what was to become one of British cinema’s most enduring and fruitful partnerships.

Dirk Bogarde, Alexis Smith, Alexander Knox, Hugh Griffith, Patricia McCarron, Maxine Audley, Glyn Houston, Harry Towb, Russell Waters, Billie Whitelaw
Release Date
7 November 2022

New Interview with Dirk Bogarde’s biographer John Coldstream

New Interview with Matthew Sweet

New Behind the Scenes stills gallery

Restoration Details

For the 2022 restoration of The Sleeping Tiger, STUDIOCANAL went back to the original camera negative which was scanned and restored in 4K to produce a brand new HD master

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