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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Politics > Save The Tiger

Save The Tiger


Picture: B-   Sound: C+   Extras: D   Film: A-



Jack Lemmon won his second Academy Award for Best Actor for 1973's Save the Tiger, which didn't do much business in theaters, and is largely forgotten more than three-decades later, but remains a great film of uncommon truth.


Lemmon stars a Harry Stoner, a self-made success in business who produces a line of women's clothing with his longtime partner, Phil (Jack Gilford).  Harry has a wife, a daughter off at college, a house in Beverly Hills and a business of his own.  At first glance he's achieved the American Dream.  But the more we see of Harry, the more it becomes apparent that he's a deeply unhappy man who comes to question if all his years of hard work were really worth it?


It turns out Harry's business is in jeopardy of failing, and cooking the books the previous year is the only reason it survived this long.  A veteran of World War II, Harry suddenly finds himself stuck in the past, yearning for the good old days, when his life and America seemed a whole lot simpler.


Insightfully written by Steve Shagan and directed by John G. Avildsen (who would win an Oscar himself three-years later for directing the original Rocky), Save the Tiger is a fascinating character study of a man from the World War II generation who seems lost in a world that was undergoing a lot of change at the time.  It's an unusually thoughtful film that questions the very nature of the American Dream in an increasingly stressful modern world  -- this might explain why the film failed to find much of an audience.  People generally donít like movies that question the very nature of their existence.


It's great that studios are digging into their catalogs to unearth buried treasures such as Save the Tiger.  This is one of those movies that becomes more and more resonant the older I get.  Paramount's new DVD release of Save the Tiger is a basic, anamorphic 1.85 X 1 widescreen edition sans any extras.But it's better than nothing, and the film has been given a decent transfer with good picture quality for a film of its age and adequate Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono sound.  I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record on this, but I really wish Paramount would start putting more effort into getting even a grainy old theatrical trailer onto these older catalog titles.



-†† Chuck O'Leary


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