11 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 truck is seen tumbling down the cliff you can see there is nothing underneath the hood (or bonnet) where the engine should be. 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 V.I.P.-Schaukel: Episode #5.3 (1975) See more »


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

User Reviews

Intriguing, forgotten thriller
4 January 2016 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

PAPER TIGER is an intriguing little comedy thriller with an unusual storyline. The film as a whole has a number of diverse ingredients which gel together quite well and lead up to a satisfying whole. It's entirely forgotten these days, despite the starring roles and the presence of Hollywood director Ken Annakin (SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON), which is a bit of a shame.

David Niven nails his character just right in playing a Walter Mitty type who regales his associates with stories of derring-do in the war (the flashback scenes are very funny). He travels to a made-up Far Eastern country to become English tutor to a Japanese ambassador, and the film chronicles their friendship. Ando, the child actor, stars in his only screen role and is very endearing, but all eyes are on the excellent Toshiro Mifune playing his father. I noted that Mifune nearly got his son kidnapped in Kurosawa's HIGH & LOW, well it really does happen here!

The film has a fairly slow first half although the second half picks up with all manner of terrorist activities and some choppy action. The latter scenes with Niven and Ando are very well handled and the film narrowly avoids being overly sentimental, remaining funny instead. The Malaysian locations standing in for the made-up country are fun and Hardy Kruger is great as a reporter. Overall, PAPER TIGER is a fun, warming little thriller with Niven on top form.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed