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Save the Tiger

59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jack Lemmon won an Oscar. for this dramatic performance, considered by many to be his finest. Lemmon plays Harry Stoner, a man caught in violent collision with his past and present life. He believes there is nothing significant in his life except survival, and that instinct pushes him beyond moral conduct. He'll juggle the books, supply women for clients... and even set fire to his own dress manufacturing factory. He is drawn to an America when life not only had values and heroes, it all seemed worth living and building. But Harry is frightened to break away from the emptiness of his seemingly successful life.

There are several films for which Jack Lemmon deserved to win the Oscar--The Apartment and Days of Wine and Roses among them--but it was this low-key entry from 1973 that garnered the gold (following a supporting award for Mister Roberts.) Harry Stoner is a Watergate-era man in the gray flannel suit--even if his is "Italian silk." Sure, he's got the Beverly Hills manse, complete with maid, but business is hanging by a thread. When it starts to unravel, he risks losing everything. And finances aren't his only problem. After 30 years, he's still haunted by the war and only wants to talk baseball and big bands. His wife urges him to see a therapist. Phil (Jack Gilford, a fine foil) is Harry's garment-manufacturing partner. Neither is a model of business ethics, but when Harry suggests torching a factory for insurance money, Phil is mortified. He suggests they turn to the Mob, but Harry would prefer a quicker fix. As in The Swimmer, another painful portrait of the American Dream gone bad, John G. Avildsen (who picked up his own statuette for Rocky) takes a revealing snapshot of a dying breed. Like much of Lemmon's best work, it can be hard to watch, but just as hard not to. In retrospect, Harry looks like a dry run for the even more nakedly desperate characters of Glengarry Glen Ross and Short Cuts. If you ever wondered how they got that way--Save the Tiger is your answer. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Jack Gilford, Laurie Heineman, Norman Burton, Patricia Smith
  • Directors: John G. Avildsen
  • Writers: Steve Shagan
  • Producers: Jack Lemmon, Edward S. Feldman, Martin Ransohoff, Steve Shagan
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2005
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,943 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Save the Tiger" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Interesting story with great performances by both Jack Lemmon and Jack Gilford. Lemmon won the Best Actor Oscar for his intense portrayal of a businessman and WW2 vet contemplating insurance fraud and arson, who is having a nervous breakdown while longing for the clarity of the past. Forget the critics who gave this a lukewarm reception, this is an excellent movie with memorable performances.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gus Mauro on April 25, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Even though Save The Tiger May not of been a commercial sucsess
it still shows how great filmaking was once made. Basically
the story is about a day & a half in the Life of Harry Stoner
owner of a garment manufactuing company who's going through a
midlife crisis is in debt considers arson to his warehouse as a way of his troubles and manages to commit adultry. Jack Lemmon's
amazing performce which earned him a well deserved oscar plays
with sheer brillance and belivablity that he is pratcally in every scene of this film. One great scene was when Harry litterly
breaks emotinally thinking back to his army days seeing his friends wounded & killed when giving a speech at a fashion show.
No Matter how dated or strange this film may be today it's still
a great film it's defintely not a film for visual & special
effcts nuts but a film with certain amount of intelligence
and should be held as a clasic film.
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Format: DVD
Harry Stoner (Jack Lemmon) isn't having a good day. He's burned out on his seemingly successful life. He's in hock up to his eyeballs and is an example of Paul Simon's observation about the "quiet desperation" of American lives. Lemmon picked up a deserved Academy Award for his portrayal of Harry with its echoes of other Lemmon characters throughout the latter part of his life.

"Save the Tiger" looks particularly good. Paramount has done a nice, crisp and clean transfer here. While the film occasionally looks soft with noticeably grain in some sequences that's the result of age, the film stock and lighting conditions for the film. The 2.0 audio has nice clarity and presence.

I didn't see this mentioned anywhere when this was released (or on the box that I received with my preview copy) but there is a great commentary track from producer/writer Steve Shagan and director John G. Avildsen ("Rocky"). Both recall the difficulties they had in making the film and Lemmon's consummate professionalism in shooting this film. It's a pity that Lemmon wasn't tapped to provide a commentary while he was alive (and it's a pity that this wasn't issued earlier to take advantage of that) but having Shagan and Avildsen (much less any commentary track) relate their stories about the making of the movie is a delight.

An essential drama with a great performance by Jack Lemmon, "Save the Tiger" looks exceptionally good in this transfer from Paramount. Featuring a nice commentary track by Shagan and Lemmon, "Save the Tiger" is an enjoyable movie and fans will savor having this classic on DVD.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dave R on January 1, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Jack Lemmon gives a performance that more than justifies his Oscar. Although difficult at first to sympathize with a Lincoln Continental-driving, Beverly Hills CEO, (this was 1973, and pre-Lexus), one cannot help but finding a purity and honesty in Lemmon's performance. Although far from a commercial hit (Lemmon agreed to do the film for scale wages),it's success lies as being a triumph in acting, interpretation, and honesty.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2007
Format: DVD
Jack Lemmon won the Oscar in 1973 for his performance in this movie. Jack Gilford was nominated for best supporting actor and it was also nominated for writing. The performances are very good. Theyer David makes a great impression as the professional arsonist Charlie Robbins, as well. The women in the movie are all more or less victims and are there to provide to the sense of moral decay in the movie. Not necessarily because they themselves are corrupt, but because they are consumed by the appetites of the men in the movie.

It is hard to capture the sense of America in 1973. Vietnam was in its death throes, the sexual revolution and drug culture were in full swing (hence all the casual promiscuity in the film), the schismatic rage over the Equal Rights Amendment was underway, Roe v. Wade was pushed on the country, Watergate was underway as were other corruption charges in the Nixon administration, and women were beginning to enter the workforce in large numbers.

Lemmon plays Harry Stoner. He is clearly suffering from what we would now call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but that wasn't really known at the time of this movie or was just beginning to be discussed because of Vietnam. Stoner is a World War II vet. He is unsuccessful in developing personal relationships because he deals with his pain by focusing on numbing it through work, through gratification of his sexual appetites, and fleeing intimacy. He dwells on his war experiences and is on the verge of a crackup.

His business is also about ready to fail because of bad finances. How much of his stress is caused by the business pressures or whether the business situation is caused by his narcissistic way of living is hard to distinguish.
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