12 user 5 critic

Paper Tiger (1975)

A somewhat prim and proper Englishman is hired as the tutor to the son of the Japanese ambassador. His life changes when he and the boy are kidnapped by terrorists for political purposes.


Ken Annakin


Jack Davies
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Niven ... 'Major' Bradbury
Toshirô Mifune ... The Ambassador (as Toshiro Mifune)
Hardy Krüger ... Muller (as Hardy Kruger)
Kazuhito Andô Kazuhito Andô ... Koichi (as Ando)
Irene Tsu ... Talah
Ivan Desny ... Foreign Minister
Miiko Taka ... Madame Kagoyama
Jeff Corey ... Mr. King
Patricia Donahue ... Mrs. King
Ronald Fraser ... Sergeant Forster
Jeannine Siniscal Jeannine Siniscal ... Foreign Minister's Girl
Kurt Christian ... Harok
Mika Kitagawa Mika Kitagawa ... Ambassador's Secretary
Eric Soh Eric Soh ... Pathet
Salleh Ben Joned Salleh Ben Joned ... Sokono (as Salleh Joned)


A somewhat prim and proper Englishman is hired as the tutor to the son of the Japanese ambassador. His life changes when he and the boy are kidnapped by terrorists for political purposes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They all saw him as a hero ... but could he live up to it?


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Music recorded at Olympic Studios, London. Engineered by Keith Grant. Produced by Jack Fishman who also supervised the soundtrack album. All music published by Famous Music Corporation. See more »


When the Bedford 4-Ton truck is tipped over the cliff, the model that's initially pushed with a digger is the mid 1970's model previously driven into the scene, but the one that tumbles down the hill is a much older (late 1950's/early 1960's) model with different style of cab. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is the story of a man and a boy.

The events in which they become involved are, unhappily, happening almost daily in some part of the world.

It must therefore be emphasised that all the characters are fictitious, as is the country in which the story takes place.

KULAGONG is somewhere in South East Asia. See more »


Referenced in Growing Pains: Paper Tigers (1991) See more »


Main Theme
Music by Roy Budd and Jack Fishman (uncredited)
Sung by the Ray Conniff Singers
See more »

User Reviews

Nice family action-adventure film.
5 June 2020 | by CinemaSerfSee all my reviews

David Niven is the epitome of the retired English soldier "Major Bradbury" in this gently comedic thriller. He is hired to tutor the young son of the Japanese Ambassador (Toshirô Mifune) to another, somewhat less democratic nation. When he and the young boy "Koichi" (Ando) are kidnapped and held to ransom by some local freedom fighters, it soon transpires that "Maj. Bradbury" may have been exaggerating his credentials somewhat and Mifune starts to seriously worry for the fate of his child. Luckily the kidnappers are pretty hopeless and our pair manage to escape - though only into the jungle and a chase ensues. It's not a complex story, nor a particularly good one - but David Niven is a class act and with all his engaging and charming bravado, he manages to carry this - alongside a decent performance from the young boy too. I reckon the first five minutes were sponsored by British Airways....

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Release Date:

5 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paper Tiger See more »

Filming Locations:

Malacca, Malaysia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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