Paper Tiger (1975)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Comedy Thriller  |   Run Time - 101 min.  |   Countries - United Kingdom   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Paper Tiger is one of those films that make one wish David Niven had simply given up his career when the good parts dried up, rather than continuing to star in drivel such as this. Niven is such an expert and charming actor that it's simply painful to watch him try to save a stiff like Tiger. Although for the most part Tiger plays like a family film -- a faux-Disney product - it does contain some realistic and occasionally violent segments that are jarring and out of step with the rest of the tone. Trying to marry the disparate tones I far beyond the capabilities of director Ken Annakin, who seems to have just closed his eyes and shot, hoping for the best. There's no style, no pacing and no imagination in his work -- and much the same can be said of the screenplay. Niven, of course, does his best, as does Toshiro Mifune, and they manage to make moments of the film come to life. And if Ando plays too cute, he does have some genuinely winning moments and a decent rapport with Niven. There's also a few nice location shots of Malaysia. But none of this is enough to raise Tiger above the level of dreck.