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Straw Dogs (1971)

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A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment.

Director:

Sam Peckinpah

Writers:

David Zelag Goodman (screenplay), Sam Peckinpah (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,957 ( 184)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dustin Hoffman ... David Sumner
Susan George ... Amy
Peter Vaughan ... Tom Hedden
T.P. McKenna ... Maj. John Scott
Del Henney Del Henney ... Charlie Venner
Jim Norton ... Chris Cawsey
Donald Webster Donald Webster ... Riddaway
Ken Hutchison ... Norman Scutt
Len Jones Len Jones ... Bobby Hedden
Sally Thomsett Sally Thomsett ... Janice Hedden
Robert Keegan Robert Keegan ... Harry Ware
Peter Arne ... John Niles
Cherina Schaer Cherina Schaer ... Louise Hood
Colin Welland ... Rev. Barney Hood
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Storyline

Upon moving to Britain to get away from American violence, astrophysicist David Sumner and his wife Amy are bullied and taken advantage of by the locals hired to do construction. When David finally takes a stand it escalates quickly into a bloody battle as the locals assault his house. Written by Andrew Hyatt <dres@uiuc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Banned In The UK See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong brutal violence including a sexual attack, menace, some sexual content, and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Strawdogs See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,251,794 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,148,828, 31 December 1983
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| Black and White (opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

David Warner asked the producers to not give him on-screen credit because his agent was pushing to have Warner get star billing alongside Dustin Hoffman and Susan George. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where David is going to confront the villagers about the cat, he lets in 4 men, but when they gather in the living room, there are only three villagers. See more »

Quotes

Reverend Barney Hood: And now for my next trick, the piece de resistance, I present to you an empty glass. I will now fill this glass with milk.
Chris Cawsey: Would it work better with whiskey, Vicar?
Reverend Barney Hood: Nothing works better with whiskey.
Tom Hedden: I do.
Reverend Barney Hood: You've never worked a day in your life, Tom.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The video version was twice rejected by the British Board of Film Classification in 1999 after the distributors refused to cut forcible stripping and any signs that Susan George was "enjoying" the rape. Video versions were available in Britain before the 1984 law which required all videos to be classified. There were two such releases, one of which was uncut, and one which lost some dialogue due to print damage. As of 1st July 2002, the full version of the film has been passed uncut for video and DVD release by the BBFC. See more »

Connections

Featured in Empire of the Censors (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Brandenburg Concerto
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Could they show this in 1971?
14 July 1999 | by Magnum-9See all my reviews

So you think movies are violent today, huh? Think again. Sam Peckinpah's highly charged, extremely intense, brutally violent 1971 pic is an underrated masterpiece, in my opinion, that redefined cinema violence forever (as if "The Wild Bunch" wasn't enough). It is one of the best directed, most fluidly edited pictures that I've seen in recent years. Today's films don't even come close.

Allegedly banned in the U.K. to this very day, "Straw Dogs" came to me out of nowhere. I had heard good things about it, but never really caught onto it, until one day when I was at a video store browsing around for no apparent reason. I had absolutely no money and wasn't planning to buy anything when all of the sudden, I saw it . . .

WIDESCREEN - UNCENSORED,RESTORED - COLLECTOR'S EDITION

I had never even seen the movie and I wanted to buy it! I mean, hey, it WAS the last one left.

So I took a huge risk, got a loan from my mother, used all the two-dollar bills I had been saving to pay her back, and bought it right out. And then, I viewed it later on that night, praying I hadn't wasted my time. AND: I was floored. The film literally knocked me out, kept me peeled to the screen at every instant, left me disturbed for days to come. I mean, let me tell you, go out and rent this, buy this, anything, just see it! Although it is moderately paced, the film remains intense the whole way, and takes an unexpected turn into extreme violence towards the legendary ending, a showdown worthy of multiple viewings (watch "Fear" to see an amateur retread).

So it goes like this: Hoffman plays a wimpy mathematician who flees with his wife George to the peaceful countryside (to get away from violence!), only to be ravaged by the locals who just wanna start trouble. It is the ultimate test of manhood, showing us (in a somewhat biased manner) that it takes aggression to get what you want and keep what you have. You'll be amazed at Hoffman's "transformation" (we all know deep down that EVERYONE'S got it in them somewhere), but it makes you think, especially when Hoffman has to defend his home from several large armed men WITHOUT USING ANY WEAPONS, only his brains and some household appliances.

I'm surprised that this is such a forgotten film. There aren't enough people who can actually claim to have seen this picture or even know what it's about. I find that hard to ingest, being that it was one of the most controversial films of its day. But it IS very brutal, especially the once trimmed rape scene, restored on my copy, a scene that I find to be the most intense. However, today's moviegoers may not agree.

So see "Straw Dogs," the movie that single-handedly turned me into a Peckinpah fan. The editing is Oscar-worthy, the acting is magnificent, the situations are well thought out, and the characters are fleshed to the bone (sometimes literally). I promise you won't leave disappointed.

#5 on my Top 200 List, **** outta **** on my personal scale.


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