12 user 5 critic

Paper Tiger (1975)

A somewhat prim and proper Englishman is hired as the tutor to the son of the Japanese ambassador. His life changes when he and the boy are kidnapped by terrorists for political purposes.


Ken Annakin


Jack Davies
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
David Niven ... 'Major' Bradbury
Toshirô Mifune ... The Ambassador (as Toshiro Mifune)
Hardy Krüger ... Muller (as Hardy Kruger)
Kazuhito Andô Kazuhito Andô ... Koichi (as Ando)
Irene Tsu ... Talah
Ivan Desny ... Foreign Minister
Miiko Taka ... Madame Kagoyama
Jeff Corey ... Mr. King
Patricia Donahue ... Mrs. King
Ronald Fraser ... Sergeant Forster
Jeannine Siniscal Jeannine Siniscal ... Foreign Minister's Girl
Kurt Christian ... Harok
Mika Kitagawa Mika Kitagawa ... Ambassador's Secretary
Eric Soh Eric Soh ... Pathet
Salleh Ben Joned Salleh Ben Joned ... Sokono (as Salleh Joned)


A somewhat prim and proper Englishman is hired as the tutor to the son of the Japanese ambassador. His life changes when he and the boy are kidnapped by terrorists for political purposes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They all saw him as a hero ... but could he live up to it?


PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Toshirô Mifune is dubbed by David de Keyser See more »


In the WW2 fantasy scene Niven asks for a bazooka but he is given a British Army PIAT anti tank spigot mortar. See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: This is the story of a man and a boy.

The events in which they become involved are, unhappily, happening almost daily in some part of the world.

It must therefore be emphasised that all the characters are fictitious, as is the country in which the story takes place.

KULAGONG is somewhere in South East Asia. See more »


References The Singing Fool (1927) See more »


Main Theme
Music by Roy Budd and Jack Fishman (uncredited)
Sung by the Ray Conniff Singers
See more »

User Reviews

A good idea badly executed and saved only by Niven's charisma
9 June 2018 | by trevorwombleSee all my reviews

And that pretty much sums it up for me. This should have been a great little family film, even if it is surprisingly violent for a PG. An interesting story of a child and his teacher being kidnapped is let down by some woeful dubbing and the child lead has a very thick accent that is hard to understand. The direction is very average and the great supporting cast of Toshiro Mifune, Hardy Kruger and Ronald Fraser is given very little to do (Fraser and Kruger also turn up in Euan Lloyds next feature, 1978s 'The WIld Geese' where they have far more substantial parts).

Niven saves the film with a performance of charm personified and is surprisingly effective playing a reluctant hero who lies his way into a decent job and then spins glorified untruthful tales of his previous heroism to impress his young charge. Of course the lies come back to haunt him but his colourful character just about saves this film from oblivion. It is a shame in some ways as with a little more care this could have been a better film than it is but something went wrong . Clumsy dialogue, badly explained politics, some comic book baddied and pedestrian directing coupled with obvious voice dubbing for some of the cast really let a good idea down here. Bit of a shame really.

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Release Date:

5 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Paper Tiger See more »

Filming Locations:

Malacca, Malaysia See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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