6.9/10
3,741
53 user 18 critic

Save the Tiger (1973)

R | | Drama | 14 February 1973 (USA)
A disillusioned aging decent man and once proud WWII veteran is dealing with midlife crisis as well as a tough moral dilemma. If he wants his small near-bankrupt clothing company to survive, he has two days to let go of his shaken morals.

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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
...
Fred Mirrell
...
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:

Juggle the books. Set fire to the factory. Supply women for the clients. Harry Stoner will do anything to get one more season. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 February 1973 (USA)  »

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

According to Richard Harland Smith at the TCMDb Turner Classics Movies website, "[Jack] Lemmon had championed the project against the better judgment of Paramount, who wanted nothing to do with what was considered a message picture and a downer at that. After two years of lobbying, Lemmon, John G. Avildsen and Steve Shagan (who also signed on as a producer) were given a parsimonious one million dollar budget. To stretch the funds, Lemmon volunteered to work for union scale, at $165 per week plus a percentage of the profits". See more »

Goofs

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

Referenced in The Trip: L'Enclume (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Air Mail Special
Composed by Jim Mundy, Benny Goodman & Charlie Christian
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User Reviews

The American Dream may be lost, but thankfully not Lemmon's dream performance
21 July 2001 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This is a well-crafted movie, directed in 1973 by John G Avildsen in a conventional, theatrical manner, harking back to social dramas of 10 or 20 years before, but reflecting the more uncertain '70s in its unresolved ending.

Jack Lemmon delivers a brilliant, Oscar-winning performance as Harry Stoner, a middle-aged man at the end of his tether, who confuses his personal midlife crisis, and the failure of his fashion business, with what he sees as the USA's moral decline in the post-war years. Obsessed with the lost cameraderie of his active service in the war, with the baseball and jazz giants of yesteryear, and with the slain and fallen idols of the 60s (Kennedy, King, Monroe etc), he sleepwalks into his own moral abyss of an arson plot, comforting himself that he is no worse than the times in which he lives.

Lemmon's character is countered by those of Phil Greene, his business partner, convincingly played by Jack Gilford, and Meyer (William Hansen), the firm's veteran, expert cutter and refugee from Nazism. Phil does not suffer Harry's sense of disillusion, because he is too down-to- earth to have experienced the illusion in the first place; Meyer, also, despite superficial discontent with the changing times, gains strength from his skill and family life.

For me, the main theme here is the familiar one of the lost American Dream, and the film brings to mind the final lines of the seminal exploration of that theme, the Great Gatsby - "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." Harry's American Dream is not of a golden future, but of a golden past; it isn't lost, it simply never existed. But, that said, in this movie thematic analysis definitely takes second place to appreciation of Lemmon's bravura performance.






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