6.9/10
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51 user 17 critic

Save the Tiger (1973)

R | | Drama | 21 July 1973 (Sweden)
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
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:

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:

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

The rehearsals period on this picture ran for three weeks prior to principal photography. 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

Harry Stoner: Everybody misses.
Margo: Not professionals.
Harry Stoner: Oh yeah, professionals too. Quarterbacks get knocked down, nurses get knocked up, somebody invented the Edsel. Everybody misses.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Workaholics: Save the Cat (2016) 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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