Review: ‘He Who Rides a Tiger’

Legal and financial hassles upset the smooth production of this crime meller, but it does not show on the screen. Story concerns a young, nerveless cat burglar (specialty: rocks from stately homes) with a split personality. Kind to children and animals, suave, good-mannered on the one hand. But this personable young guy is equally prone to violent outbursts of impatience and hot temper. Released from the cooler, he sets out on a string of profitable crimes, with Superintendent Taylor (Paul Rogers) breathing down his neck.

Legal and financial hassles upset the smooth production of this crime meller, but it does not show on the screen. Story concerns a young, nerveless cat burglar (specialty: rocks from stately homes) with a split personality. Kind to children and animals, suave, good-mannered on the one hand. But this personable young guy is equally prone to violent outbursts of impatience and hot temper. Released from the cooler, he sets out on a string of profitable crimes, with Superintendent Taylor (Paul Rogers) breathing down his neck.

Trevor Peacock’s screenplay is crisp, and even in the love scenes and with the kids does not teeter overmuch towards the sentimental. Tom Bell as the anti-hero is one of the crop of young actors who emerged around the Finney, Courtenay, Lynch, O’Toole era. He has an easy style and diamond-hard personality which put him among the leading runners in this field.

Judi Dench, in a somewhat indecisive part, again shows her very bright talent and Rogers is fine as the determined, disgruntled cop.

He Who Rides a Tiger

UK

Production

British Lion. Dir Charles Crichton; Producer David Newman; Screenplay Trevor Peacock; Camera John Von Kotze; Editor Jack Harris, John S. Smith; Music Alexander Faris Art Dir Richard Harrison, Seamus Flannery

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 103 MIN.

With

Tom Bell Judi Dench Paul Rogers Kay Walsh Ray McAnally Jeremy Spenser
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