Save the Tiger (1973)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 July 1973 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,443 users  
Reviews: 50 user | 17 critic

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



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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Mirrell
Patricia Smith ...
Janet Stoner
Charlie Robbins
William Hansen ...
Harvey Jason ...
Liv Lindeland ...
Ula (as Liv Von Linden)
Eloise Hardt ...
Janina ...
Sid Fivush
Pearl Shear ...
Tiger Petitioner (as Biff Elliott)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 July 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Salven al tigre  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


This movie was a project of the heart. A message movie never intended to be a box office smash and it was never a box office success. Made for a budget of $1,000,000, Jack Lemmon waived his usual fee and worked for scale plus a percentage of the gross. Scale was $165 a week at the time. Many cost cutting measures were used including using a Cinamobile camera, (a revolutionary mobile filming unit invented by Fouad Said, a former I Spy cameraman, which enabled filmmakers to keep location costs to a minimum). Lemmon was being touted as an Oscar Candidate even before the film was released. On April 4th 1974, Jack Lemmon became the first performer in Academy history to win both a "best actor" and "best supporting actor" award. See more »


At 1:37:40, more of the red lining of Harry's coat is visible than it was previously. See more »


Myra: Are you OK? Do you want something?
Harry Stoner: Yes. I want that girl in a Cole Porter song. I wanna see Lena Horne at the Cotton Club - hear Billie Holiday sing fine and mellow - walk in that kind of rain that never washes perfume away. I wanna be in love with something. Anything. Just the idea. A dog, a cat. Anything. Just something.
See more »


Referenced in And When She Was Bad... (1973) See more »


Music by Richard A. Whiting
Lyrics by Leo Robin
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User Reviews

A powerful film.
17 July 2001 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

"Save the Tiger" is not for everyone. If you are a fan of great acting and writing, and not bothered by a slow pace then this is a movie for you.

The film takes place all in one day and tells the story of a businessman on a downward spiral. Jack Lemmon (in a well deserved Oscar winning role) plays the owner of a clothing manufacturer. He is losing money and his mind. He has decided to hire an arsonist to destroy the business so he can collect the insurance money, much against the wishes of his partner (well played by Jack Gilford).

The film follows him that day as he comes to many life decisions while trying to avoid the nervous breakdown that is hauntingly close.

This is a film of raw power that never reaches out to us so strongly that we feel smothered by it all. It's pace is slow which makes the film all the more powerful. Two scenes that stand out are when he is to speak at a luncheon. As he speaks he begins seeing the audience not as normal, everyday people but as soldiers from the war he fought in. He is so overcome he can't finish his speech.

The other standout moment is when he meets the arsonist at the porno theater. The arsonist has been there and back 100 times and knows his business. He knows the right way to destroy a man's dreams for profit. To say the scene is frightening is an understatement. But it's a testament to the brilliant (and Oscar winning) screenplay by Steve Shagan.

This is one of those rare films for adults. Frightening, powerfully thought provoking. A must see for the true cinema buff.

39 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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