A Tiger Walks

A Tiger Walks

Synopsis of Movie

The “boy and his misunderstood dog” formula has been a time-honored movie tradition almost since the beginning, but the “girl and her misunderstood Bengal tiger” genre is another story. Disney’s A Tiger Walks was one of the few films in the latter category, a change of pace for the company that had brought Old Yeller to the screen seven years earlier.

The misunderstanding begins when a tiger escapes from a passing circus, hiding out in the nearby woods of a small, middle-American town. The locals, understandably frightened, want Sheriff Pete Williams to kill the beast, but Pete’s big-hearted 12-year-old daughter Julie thinks the tiger should be captured and turned over to the zoo. As the tiger’s story spreads, news-hungry reporters descend upon the town, and the governor (up for re-election) is stuck with a tricky political situation.

The governor sides with the panicky people and calls in the National Guard, but little Julie goes on television to appeal to the country, asking the kids of America to contribute to a tiger-saving fund. Pete’s grizzled heart begins to sway over to his daughter’s side, but even with the help of circus trainer Ram Singh, trapping a Bengal tiger—with trigger-happy Guardsmen on the lookout everywhere—is no easy task.

Along with its unusual premise, A Tiger Walks sported a surprisingly cynical outlook on small-town America. The usual corrupt fat cats were lampooned, but so was nearly every adult in the movie except Sheriff Williams, his wife and Ram Singh.

Perhaps for that reason, A Tiger Walks didn’t get as much attention from moviegoers as another, more light-hearted Disney flick from earlier in the year, The Misadventures of Merlin Jones. Sadly, that meant that most missed the final screen performance from famed Indian actor Sabu, who had shot to fame in 1940’s The Thief of Bagdad and passed away in late 1963.

Movie Release History

1964 - A Tiger Walks

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Sheriff Pete Williams Brian Keith
Dorothy Williams Vera Miles
Julie Williams Pamela Franklin
Ram Singh Sabu
Governor Edward Andrews
Mrs. Watkins Una Merkel
Vern Goodman Peter Brown
Tom Hadley Kevin Corcoran
Bill Watkins Frank McHugh
Lewis' Wife Connie Gilchrist
Lewis Arthur Hunnicutt
Josef Pietz Theodore Marcuse
Betty Collins Merry Anders
Joe Riley Frank Aletter
Sam Grant Jack Albertson

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