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Bengal Tiger

Bengal Tiger(1936)

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teaser Bengal Tiger (1936)

Of all the Hollywood studios, Warner Bros. was most notorious for recycling its successful films, reworking dependable story lines into every genre imaginable. Tiger Shark (1932), a melodramatic box-office bonanza directed by Howard Hawks and starring Edward G. Robinson as a tuna fisherman with an unfaithful wife, was unofficially remade more often than any other Warners hit. The basic plot has an older man winning the hand of a beautiful younger woman who marries him out of a sense of obligation. The bride then begins an affair with a handsome coworker of her husband who is closer to her own age, and once the husband finds out the two men fight it out in a climactic brawl.

Among some two dozen reprisals of this situation by Warners were Bengal Tiger (1936), set in a circus; and Slim (1937) and Manpower (1941), both set in the world of power company linemen. In Bengal Tiger, Barton MacLane is the older man, an animal trainer; Warren Hull is his younger assistant; and June Travis is the beautiful woman they both love. Adding to the excitement of the final clash is a circus fire during which MacLanes prized Bengal tiger escapes.

MacLane appeared in some 200 films, most of them at Warner Bros., where he typically provided menace as a gangster or Western outlaw but also occasionally played rough-hewn heroes. Hull was the leading man of many low-budget features and serials who also worked in radio and TV and is best remembered as the host of Strike It Rich. Travis, a pretty brunette who could be either tempestuous or demure, was a Warner Bros. contract player from 1934 and developed into a reliable leading lady before her retirement from films in 1939.

Director: Louis King
Screenplay: Roy Chanslor, Earl Felton
Cinematography: L. William OConnell
Original Music: Howard Jackson, Heinz Roemheld (both uncredited)
Cast: Barton MacLane (Cliff Ballenger), June Travis (Laura), Warren Hull (Joe Larson), Paul Graetz (Carl Homan), Joseph Crehan (Hinsdale).

by Roger Fristoe

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