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Advertising executive Gwen Taylor sends her art director Rick Todd on a mission to bring an artist back to the commercial fold. Meanwhile, Gwen's fatherless son Timmie, at a remote boys' school, is riding for a fall by manufacturing evidence of his "explorer father." By an amazing coincidence, Rick steps off the bus at just the right moment for Timmie to recruit him as "father" without his knowledge. With no intention of collaborating, the befuddled Rick is carried along by the sweep of events. Who can predict the outcome? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
First seen as a Deanna Durbin film with her singing a few high notes as an extra special treat, The Toy Tiger is a remake of Durbin's Mad About Music with young Tim Hovey putting over a bit of a con game among his classmates at the boarding school where his career driven mother has placed him. Laraine Day as the mom runs an advertising agency where Jeff Chandler is her art director. She sends him on assignment to a rural area to find Judson Pratt a successful commercial artist who chucked it all for art's sake.
Two things happen while Chandler is on the trip. First it's Pratt who persuades him to get away from it all and paint for his own sake. Secondly Jeff kind of steps into the role that Tim Hovey has created for his image of a father. Wouldn't you know it, Hovey's boarding school is located right where Pratt is.
I can't see the film being made a third time. It's badly dated and this one didn't even have some Durbin songs in it.
According to Marilyn Kirk's biography of Jeff Chandler, he and his leading lady Laraine Day knew each other through her then husband Leo Durocher who was until the year before The Toy Tiger came out, the manager of the New York Giants and Chandler was quite the fan. Amazing as he was from Brooklyn. He spent many happy hours working out with Leo's Giants who in 1954 were the World Series winner.
If not ranked as one of Chandler's best films I'm sure The Toy Tiger was an enjoyable experience to make. It was a change from the action/ adventure stuff he was normally doing.
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