Save the Tiger (1973)

R  |   |  Drama  |  21 July 1973 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,445 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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Sissy Spacek read for the part of Myra. See more »


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 »


[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 »


Referenced in Oscar's Greatest Moments (1992) See more »


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

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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