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White Tiger (1923)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 70 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 3 critic

Three crooks pull off a magnificent crime. As they're forced to hide out together they slowly begin to distrust each other.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: White Tiger (1923)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Matt Moore ...
Raymond Griffith ...
Roy Donovan
...
Count Donelli / Hawkes
Alfred Allen ...
Mike Donovan
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Storyline

Three crooks pull off a magnificent crime. As they're forced to hide out together they slowly begin to distrust each other.

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

17 December 1923 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den hvide Tiger  »

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Runtime:

(DVD)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

A Jewel Production. Universal did not own a proprietary theater network and sought to differentiate its feature product to independent theater owners. Carl Laemmle created a 3-tiered branding system: Red Feather (low budget programmers), Bluebird (mainstream releases) and Jewel (prestige films). Jewel releases were promoted as worthy of special promotion in hopes of commanding higher roadshow ticket prices. Universal ended branding in late 1929. See more »

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Featured in Kingdom of Shadows (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unconvincing and tedious caper film from Tod Browning
30 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The movie starts with the death of Mike Donovan (Alfred Allen), who is watching over his two children Roy and Sylvia, whilst unbeknownst to him, the present Hawkes (Wallace Beery) is plotting against him. Roy runs outside, believing his father and sister dead, while Hawkes flees with Sylvia, who believes the same of Roy. Fifteen years later, Roy (Raymond Griffith), going by the name of The Kid, is scamming people with his mechanical chess player. Hawkes returns to England with Sylvia (Priscilla Dean) and witnesses the automaton at a wax display, and hatches a plan with Roy to take the chess player to America, where they can pull a giant scam on the upper classes. After pulling of a robbery, the trio flee to a remote cabin, where paranoia and greed start to take hold of them.

Though he is now best remembered for his work in horror, most notable Dracula (1931) - arguably the greatest adaptation of the story ever made - and the excellent Freaks (1932), a macabre and twisted horror that would see itself banned for decades and tarnish the director's reputation, Tod Browning enjoyed a hugely successful and busy silent period directing, amongst others, caper films, focusing on small-time crooks and their schemes. White Tiger is one of these such films, and one of many collaborations he had with star Priscilla Dean, who was a huge star in her day, now sadly all but forgotten. The title White Tiger refers to the animal that lies inside of criminals, eating a way at them with guilt, uncertainty and paranoia, and we see this unfold in the second half on the movie as the lead trio hide out. I suspect the movie thinks itself as a window into this fascinating world, but after an entertaining first half, becomes a tedious and rather ridiculous melodrama.

The print I watched of this was so old and grainy that the film would often jump, making certain scenes difficult to follow and title cards often unreadable. But should the film ever be given a re-mastering, I doubt it would do anything to improve the dullness of the film. After spending forty or so minutes setting up an intriguing story, we spend the next forty minutes in one location, where unconvincing suspicions arise about the true identity of Hawkes, and they needlessly bicker amongst themselves. It is something Browning would go on to develop further in the commercially successful The Unholy Three (1925), but White Tiger was so incoherent that it was shelved for over a year before the studio released a new edit to an underwhelming box-office.

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