Save the Tiger

Save the Tiger

Director: John G. Avildsen

Cast: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman

     
 

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Star Jack Lemmon was so eager to see Save the Tiger make it to the big screen that he waived his salary rather than have the film exceed its tiny budget. Lemmon portrays "the great American tragedy" as upwardly mobile garment manufacturer Harry Stoner, whose underhanded business tactics are beginning to catch up with him, and whose keeping-up-appearances

Overview

Star Jack Lemmon was so eager to see Save the Tiger make it to the big screen that he waived his salary rather than have the film exceed its tiny budget. Lemmon portrays "the great American tragedy" as upwardly mobile garment manufacturer Harry Stoner, whose underhanded business tactics are beginning to catch up with him, and whose keeping-up-appearances lifestyle has forced him into bankruptcy. The script, by producer Steve Shagan, does nothing to endear us to Stoner: he flagrantly cheats on his wife, arranges business deals by servicing his clients with prostitutes, and finally agrees to torch his warehouse to collect the insurance money, all the while paying empty lip service to his lost ideals. Nonetheless, one "feels" for Stoner throughout, especially when he breaks down while giving a speech to his assembled buyers, imagining that the audience is populated by his dead army buddies, who gave up their lives to make the world safe for good-for-nothings like himself. Lemmon's performance won him an Academy Award. Appearing in supporting roles are Jack Gilford as Lemmon's conscience-stricken partner and Thayer David as a smarmy arsonist.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Although Jack Lemmon had played "serious" roles before (such as his turn in Days of Wine and Roses), in 1973 he was still primarily considered a comic actor, albeit one of tremendous range. After Save the Tiger, Lemmon's gifts as a serious actor were confirmed beyond any doubt. His unflinching, Oscar-winning portrayal is the centerpiece of this disquieting movie. A character study of a man who is dissatisfied with his life but too moored in the superficial trappings of it to move beyond, the movie is essentially a prolonged character study, and it succeeds because Lemmon, under John G. Avildsen's assured direction, fills every moment. Avildsen trains the camera on Lemmon throughout, capturing telling nuances even in such mundane moments as Lemmon's wait for an elevator to arrive. Lemmon's initial encounter with free spirit Laurie Heineman is a small treasure; the pleasure underneath his dialogue -- inspired both by his attraction to the girl and his secret pride at being propositioned by her -- is a delight. And he holds nothing back during the "big" scenes, either. He is ably supported by Jack Gilford, whose performance perfectly compliments Lemmon's. The script is intelligent and perceptive, and Avildsen's direction is understated and assured. Avildsen would mark time with his next two films before hitting a career high with Rocky in 1976.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2005
UPC:
0097360847949
Original Release:
1973
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:40:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jack Lemmon Harry Stoner
Jack Gilford Phil Green
Laurie Heineman Myra
Norman Burton Fred
Patricia Smith Janet Stoner
Thayer David Charlie Robbins
Liv Lindeland Ula
Biff Elliot Tiger Petitioner
Ned Glass Sid
William Hansen Meyer
Eloise Hardt Jackie
Harvey Jason Rico
Madeleine Lee Gilford Receptionist
Lara Parker Margo
Pearl Shear Cashier
Ben Freedman Taxi Driver
Janina Dusty

Technical Credits
John G. Avildsen Director
Bud Alper Sound/Sound Designer
David Bretherton Editor
Jack T. Collis Art Director,Production Designer
James A. Crabe Cinematographer
Ed Feldman Producer
Marvin Hamlisch Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Robert Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Molyneaux Set Decoration/Design
Martin Ransohoff Producer
Harry Ray Makeup
Steve Shagan Producer,Screenwriter

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