Harry Black and the Tiger (1958)

106-107 mins | Drama | September 1958

Full page view
HISTORY

The film ends with the following written acknowledgment: "The producer wishes to thank the Government of India for their help and cooperation during the production of this film." The Har review adds that the film was shot on location in India. According to a Jul 1957 HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox co-produced this picture with the British company Mersham Productions, Ltd. A Sep 1958 NYT news item notes that I. S. Johar, the well-known producer, writer and director of Indian independent films, made his American acting debut in this picture. When Harry Black and the Tiger opened in London, its running time was 117 minutes. The DV review of the London opening complained that the film "lost much of its impact through unnecessary length...it runs at least 15-20 minutes too long." By the time the film reached the United States, its runnning time had been cut to 106 minutes. ... More Less

The film ends with the following written acknowledgment: "The producer wishes to thank the Government of India for their help and cooperation during the production of this film." The Har review adds that the film was shot on location in India. According to a Jul 1957 HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox co-produced this picture with the British company Mersham Productions, Ltd. A Sep 1958 NYT news item notes that I. S. Johar, the well-known producer, writer and director of Indian independent films, made his American acting debut in this picture. When Harry Black and the Tiger opened in London, its running time was 117 minutes. The DV review of the London opening complained that the film "lost much of its impact through unnecessary length...it runs at least 15-20 minutes too long." By the time the film reached the United States, its runnning time had been cut to 106 minutes. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
22 Sep 1958.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jul 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
12 Sep 58
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
13 Sep 1958.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 Jul 57
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
12 Sep 58
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Sep 58
p. 976.
New York Times
19 Sep 58
p. 24.
New York Times
21 Sep 1958.
---
Variety
30 Jul 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2nd unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
2d unit cam
2d unit cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
MUSIC
Mus comp
SOUND
Rec
Dubbing ed
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair dressing
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Loc mgr
Tech adv
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Harry Black by David Walker (Boston, 1956).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
September 1958
Premiere Information:
London opening: 22 July 1958
New York opening: 18 September 1958
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
28 July 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12287
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
106-107
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18993
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When a man-eating tiger snatches a baby from its mother's arms, the Indian government hires illustrious game hunter Harry Black to vanquish the beast. In the jungle, Harry and his faithful Indian companion Bapu have the tiger in their gun sights when a noisy car scares it away. Harry recognizes the driver as Desmond Tanner, the man responsible for the amputation of Harry's leg during World War II. Desmond, with his wife Christian and young son Michael, has come to India to manage a large plantation owned by a British corporation. When Desmond asks to join the hunt, Harry, who harbors a long-simmering resentment against Desmond for his cowardice during the war, refuses, but after Desmond confides that he wants to make his son proud, Harry relents. Harry's misgivings are justified when Desmond's rifle misfires and he barely grazes the tiger. Infuriated, the beast lunges at Harry and brutally mauls him. In a delirium of pain, Harry's mind slips back to World War II when he and Desmond were bunkmates in a German prisoner of war camp: With the help of the other prisoners, they dig an escape tunnel under the barracks. Once the tunnel is completed, the men scramble into it, but when one is spotted by the German guards, Desmond freezes in fright. Harry loses precious minutes vainly trying to convince him to continue, and so emerges on the other side too late, for the guards gun him down and shatter his leg. After being rescued by his fellow escapees, Harry is taken to the hospital. Back in the present, Harry is transported to the Tanner plantation, where his ... +


When a man-eating tiger snatches a baby from its mother's arms, the Indian government hires illustrious game hunter Harry Black to vanquish the beast. In the jungle, Harry and his faithful Indian companion Bapu have the tiger in their gun sights when a noisy car scares it away. Harry recognizes the driver as Desmond Tanner, the man responsible for the amputation of Harry's leg during World War II. Desmond, with his wife Christian and young son Michael, has come to India to manage a large plantation owned by a British corporation. When Desmond asks to join the hunt, Harry, who harbors a long-simmering resentment against Desmond for his cowardice during the war, refuses, but after Desmond confides that he wants to make his son proud, Harry relents. Harry's misgivings are justified when Desmond's rifle misfires and he barely grazes the tiger. Infuriated, the beast lunges at Harry and brutally mauls him. In a delirium of pain, Harry's mind slips back to World War II when he and Desmond were bunkmates in a German prisoner of war camp: With the help of the other prisoners, they dig an escape tunnel under the barracks. Once the tunnel is completed, the men scramble into it, but when one is spotted by the German guards, Desmond freezes in fright. Harry loses precious minutes vainly trying to convince him to continue, and so emerges on the other side too late, for the guards gun him down and shatter his leg. After being rescued by his fellow escapees, Harry is taken to the hospital. Back in the present, Harry is transported to the Tanner plantation, where his wounds are treated by a doctor and a nurse. When Christian tries to explain Desmond's behavior, Harry asks if she is happy and she replies that she is content. While Harry recovers, the tiger also regains his strength. One day, Michael comes to Harry for help with his Bible lessons, and when Harry leafs through Christian's Bible, he finds a dried flower that he gave her years earlier. Soon after, Desmond flies to Calcutta to interview for a promotion as co-chairman of the corporation for which he works. When the tiger claims another victim, Harry leaves the partially eaten body as bait. While awaiting the return of the beast, Harry recalls the first time he saw Christian: After his release from the hospital, Harry goes to meet Desmond's family. When Christian asks why her husband, still incarcerated in the camp, failed to escape, Harry lies that Desmond courageously waited behind to watch for the guards. While on a picnic, Harry gives Christian a flower, and soon, they fall in love. Stricken with guilt, Harry bids Christian goodbye and returns to duty. Harry's thoughts return to the present, and he begins to drink to assuage the pain of lost love. When the tiger appears, Harry, drunk, thinks he is hallucinating and calls in fear to Bapu, scaring the tiger away. After Harry embarks on an alcoholic binge, Bapu summons Christian, who locks away his whiskey and chastises him for his behavior. Sobered by Christian's scolding, Harry decides to give up the hunt and leave the territory. When word comes that Michael has been thrown from his horse and is stranded in the jungle, however, Harry, fearing that the boy may be the tiger's next victim, springs into action. With Christian and Bapu following, Harry plunges into the jungle in search of Michael. Stalked by the tiger, Michael has taken refuge in a tree, and when Harry finds him, Christian breaks down in tears of relief and kisses Harry. Upon returning to the plantation, Christian hysterically accuses Harry of destroying her happiness and admits that she still loves him. As Christian drives Harry home, Harry voices his love and they embrace. The next day, Harry tracks the tiger to a cave and when the beast attacks, Harry shoots and kills him. Victorious, Harry hurries back to Christian and is greeted by Desmond, who has just returned from Calcutta. Desmond then informs him that he has been awarded the position of vice chairman and that his new job requires he move his family to London. Christian, realizing that she cannot sacrifice Michael's happiness for her own, resolves to stay with her husband. After Desmond offers a toast to happiness, Christian replies that all one can hope for is contentment. When Harry drives off, Christian senses she will never see him again. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.