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Save the Tiger (1973)

 -  Drama  -  21 July 1973 (Sweden)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,077 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 18 critic

A businessman's professional struggles begin to conflict with his personal life over the course of two days.

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Title: Save the Tiger (1973)

Save the Tiger (1973) on IMDb 7/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Myra
Norman Burton ...
Fred Mirrell
Patricia Smith ...
Janet Stoner
...
Charlie Robbins
William Hansen ...
Meyer
Harvey Jason ...
Rico
Liv Lindeland ...
Ula (as Liv Von Linden)
...
Margo
Eloise Hardt ...
Jackie
Janina ...
Dusty
...
Sid Fivush
Pearl Shear ...
Cashier
...
Tiger Petitioner (as Biff Elliott)
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Storyline

The film depicts a day and a half in Harry Stoner's life. Harry is down on his luck, and trapped in his own indulgences. He daydreams about his youth, trying to escape from the fact that business is rotten and his company owes bundles of money. His day is filled with unusual episodes as he picks up a hitchhiker/prostitute, arranges for his company's warehouse to burn down so he can collect the insurance-money, he hires strippers for his buddies and gets engaged in an animal rights campaign, a fashion show and experiences a rather uncomfortable flashback to the war. Written by Kristian Krokfoss <krokus@online.no>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack Lemmon in his most important dramatic role since "The Days of Wine and Roses." See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

21 July 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Salven al tigre  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Lemmon was in Europe filming Avanti! (1972) for director Billy Wilder when this film was edited and scored. A print was flown to show Lemmon and he invited Wilder to see it. Afterwards, Lemmon asked for Wilder's opinion. Wilder advised one change, cut out the scene in the film where Lemmon's character visits his mistress early in the story. Wilder felt it slowed down the momentum of the story. The scene was cut, the picture was released to box office success and Lemmon won a second Oscar. See more »

Goofs

Harry wipes Fred's face almost completely clean of the red body paint. In a subsequent shot, Fred's face is covered with red paint again. See more »

Quotes

[Referring to the arsonist and the hooker]
Phil Greene: Professionals, Charlie and Margo. One starts the fires, the other one puts them out.
See more »

Connections

References Quo Vadis (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

I Can't Get Started
Composed by Vernon Duke & Ira Gershwin
Performed by Bunny Berigan
Original recording courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life Ain't About Simple Choices
26 November 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Save the Tiger is about lost illusions of youth and the things some of us have to do to merely keep treading water. Jack Lemmon is the head of a garment factory which has suffered some losses over the past few years and he and partner Jack Gilford see few options that will save them from bankruptcy or worse.

The best of these options is to start an arson fire in their factory and hope the insurance payoff will cancel their debts and afford a fresh start. Gilford is against it on moral principles, but Lemmon is a guy who can't afford morals at this stage as George Bernard Shaw once put it.

Still he looks back on his youth and the things and people that moved him back in the day and wonders how he got in the mess he's in. It's not supposed to be like this for people like him who've had ideals and tried to play by the rules.

In his facial expressions, his vocal intonations, in every move of his body and soul, Lemmon becomes Harry Stoner the latest convert to cynicism. It's what got Jack Lemmon his Second Academy Award, this time for Best Actor. Interesting that this very cynical film came out the year that a whole lot of Americans became very cynical as Watergate was unfolding before them.

Arson fire is a tricky business and Lemmon puts himself in the hands of Thayer David who I think gives his best screen portrayal here as the professional arsonist. Listening to him, as creepy as he sounds, he comes off as a man who knows his business. He even at one point offers to return the down payment given him when he explains that insurance will never pay off with all the fire regulation violations Lemmon and Gilford have in their place. It's a business with him and no fatalities must occur, otherwise it's a Law and Order episode.

Jack Lemmon was one of the best around, could do all kinds of comedy and drama with equal skill. Building on the characters he created for Billy Wilder, he's an older man now who's in no position to start from scratch again. Lemmon plays a character that all of us over 40 can definitely relate to.

Save the Tiger is a serious and thought provoking drama about choices each and every one of us could face some time in our lives. It's universality of theme will make it an enduring classic.


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