Review: ‘The Tiger and the Pussycat’

Screenwriters take a timeworn three-point relationship and bulwark it with many physical gag situations and flash comic inserts. But they depend on the more basic cleavage between parents and offspring to underscore the extra-marital fling between a middle-age captain of industry (Vittorio Gassman) and a 20-year-old Bohemian ball of fire (Ann-Margret). Eleanor Parker plays the abused wife with suave dignity.

Screenwriters take a timeworn three-point relationship and bulwark it with many physical gag situations and flash comic inserts. But they depend on the more basic cleavage between parents and offspring to underscore the extra-marital fling between a middle-age captain of industry (Vittorio Gassman) and a 20-year-old Bohemian ball of fire (Ann-Margret). Eleanor Parker plays the abused wife with suave dignity.

For about two-thirds of the film The Tiger is a swiftly-paced romp of gay deceit for the male partner and a purposeful drive for sexual plentitude on the distaff side. Slowdown occurs with Gassman’s dilemma. Prodded by his young mistress to give up wife and family (his career by this time is practically shot anyway), the charm and tempo slacken while Gassman weighs a choice that distills the joy of a seven-inning stretch.

Gassman is on the scene almost every minute of the film. It’s an unfair load to bear with such a slight story in support but he’s first-rate until the action sags. Parker is standout as the attractive, understanding wife and mother of two grownup children.

The Tiger and the Pussycat

Italy - US

Production

Fair/Embassy. Director Dino Risi; Producer Mario Cecchi Gori; Screenplay Incrocci Agenore, Furio Scarpelli, Dino Risi; Camera Sandro D'Eva; Editor Marcello Malvestiti; Music Fred Buongusto; Art Director Luciano Ricceri

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1967. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Vittorio Gassman Ann-Margret Eleanor Parker
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