Star Jack Lemmon was so eager to see Save the Tiger make it to the big screen that he waived his salary rather than have the film exceed its tiny budget. Lemmon portrays "the great American tragedy" as upwardly mobile garment manufacturer Harry Stoner, whose underhanded business tactics are beginning to catch up with him, and whose keeping-up-appearances lifestyle has forced him into bankruptcy. The script, by producer Steve Shagan, does nothing to endear us to Stoner: he flagrantly cheats on his wife, arranges business deals by servicing his clients with prostitutes, and finally agrees to torch his warehouse to collect the insurance money, all the while paying empty lip service to his lost ideals. Nonetheless, one "feels" for Stoner throughout, especially when he breaks down while giving a speech to his assembled buyers, imagining that the audience is populated by his dead army buddies, who gave up their lives to make the world safe for good-for-nothings like himself. Lemmon's performance won him an Academy Award. Appearing in supporting roles are Jack Gilford as Lemmon's conscience-stricken partner and Thayer David as a smarmy arsonist.