Save the Tiger (1973)

R   |    |  Drama

Save the Tiger (1973) Poster

A disillusioned aging decent man and once proud WWII veteran is dealing with midlife crisis as well as a tough moral dilemma. If he wants his small near-bankrupt clothing company to survive, he has two days to let go of his shaken morals.

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  • Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973)
  • Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973)
  • Jack Lemmon and Jack Gilford in Save the Tiger (1973)
  • Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973)
  • Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973)
  • Jack Lemmon in Save the Tiger (1973)

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27 February 2017 | kag2
Superb Acting & Drama
This superb drama offers middle-aged longing, lost dreams, success, despair, and superb acting by Jack Lemmon (won the Oscar) and Jack Gilford (nominated for supporting). BUT: this film is not for everybody. A serious drama about middle-aged loss, struggle, and fading dreams won't grab every one. It's too slow for some viewers, and too realistic for some others.

Harry Stoner (Lemmon) is as an LA businessman who seeks an arsonist to burn him out so he can collect the insurance and rebuild his failing business. His aging partner Phil Greene (Jack Gilford) opposes this, but realizes at his age (close to 65) he may never find another job. Both men are decent but jaded, and troubled by the lost innocence (or false innocence) of their youth in Brooklyn. Harry is also troubled by post-traumatic stress flashbacks from his lost comrades at Anzio in World War II, while Phil is troubled by going along with a crime that means losing his integrity. Both men appear to be Jewish, and may feel added burdens that come with having beaten anti-Semitic discrimination (or worse). There is the also longing for their boyhood in New York, before crime made cities less safe, and before the Dodgers (plus these two men) deserted Brooklyn for Los Angeles - which is not quite the sunny paradise that both probably hoped for. This film also came out in 1973, as Watergate, Vietnam, and the non-success of the Great Society all seemed to evidence a certain national decline.

Save the Tiger is like "Death of Salesman Goes To LA." There is fantasy, failure, and searing struggles for success. The two main characters are not so tragic as Willie Loman; yet they are not all that far removed, either.

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