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Toy Tiger (1956)
dustyspoon17 February 2005
This is one of my all time favourite movies. It is the story of a small fatherless boy, Timmie Harkinson, played by Tim Hovey, and his smile will captivate you. Timmie is sent to a Boarding School by his mother, Gwen Taylor (Laraine day), which is run by two brothers, played by Richard Hayson and Cecil Kellaway who do an excellent bit of acting in their roles. Timmie's mom sends her art director, Rick Todd ( Jeff Chandler) to find and bring back an artist. Where this story knits itself together is when Timmie, who has fabricated an "Explorer father" and, unknowingly to Rick, recruits him to be his "father." I'm sure that this story will touch your heart. I, personally can't wait for them to bring it out on DVD. For many years, this film was shown on TV late night movies. I can't remember when I last saw it, but it is still very much in my head and heart. I truly hope & pray that someone will change that for us all, and bring it out on DVD in the very near future.
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Charming film, albeit a trifle dated, still a satisfying family film
tinman1960200324 January 2006
Young Timothy Hovey is very cute and charming, and quite an actor for his young age. His diction is very good for a child, which makes it easy to understand the numerous comments he makes under his breath. Several particularly funny moments in this film include the dock scene when Gwen goes to "Wash up", the "Arrest" scene, and of course Chandler's very deadpan story about the elephant. If you have not seen the other film which "features" Tim Hovey, I recommend you see The Private War of Major Benson, starring Charlton Heston, Tim Considine, and Sal Mineo. It is also very funny and was still available on VHS in 2005 (MCA). I am glad to see that these films are getting some attention, they are certainly rare in the film industry as being entirely inoffensive, family fare.
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ivan-225 June 2000
There are few movies as sweet and likeable as this one. Most movies strain to impress, forgetting, that relaxed unpretentiousness is a good thing. Movies should be good, not great or grand. Few movies exhibit let alone exemplify family values. This is a rare exception.
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Falls into the role
bkoganbing22 October 2015
First seen as a Deanna Durbin film with her singing a few high notes as an extra special treat, The Toy Tiger is a remake of Durbin's Mad About Music with young Tim Hovey putting over a bit of a con game among his classmates at the boarding school where his career driven mother has placed him. Laraine Day as the mom runs an advertising agency where Jeff Chandler is her art director. She sends him on assignment to a rural area to find Judson Pratt a successful commercial artist who chucked it all for art's sake.

Two things happen while Chandler is on the trip. First it's Pratt who persuades him to get away from it all and paint for his own sake. Secondly Jeff kind of steps into the role that Tim Hovey has created for his image of a father. Wouldn't you know it, Hovey's boarding school is located right where Pratt is.

I can't see the film being made a third time. It's badly dated and this one didn't even have some Durbin songs in it.

According to Marilyn Kirk's biography of Jeff Chandler, he and his leading lady Laraine Day knew each other through her then husband Leo Durocher who was until the year before The Toy Tiger came out, the manager of the New York Giants and Chandler was quite the fan. Amazing as he was from Brooklyn. He spent many happy hours working out with Leo's Giants who in 1954 were the World Series winner.

If not ranked as one of Chandler's best films I'm sure The Toy Tiger was an enjoyable experience to make. It was a change from the action/ adventure stuff he was normally doing.
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