Legend has it that director Howard Hawks filmed Tiger Shark for Warner Brothers while on a fishing trip in Hawaii. Despite the off-handed nature of the production, the film -- based on the play, They Knew What They Wanted -- still manages to touch upon many of Hawks' signature themes. There's a morally complex love triangle, an examination of trust and loyalty, and the impending doom of an outside instrument of death (the sharks). Tiger Shark's driving story line is delivered in a typically Hawksian, no-nonsense style; the fishing scenes are highly charged and very realistic, significant for a film made in the 1930s. Two years after his breakthrough role in Little Caesar (1930), Edward G. Robinson proves his versatility as the Portuguese tuna boat skipper with a bitter, resentful side.
by Brendon Hanley review