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Straw Dogs (1971)

Unrated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  22 December 1971 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 42,437 users  
Reviews: 252 user | 145 critic

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

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Amy
...
...
Maj. John Scott
Del Henney ...
...
Donald Webster ...
...
Len Jones ...
Bobby Hedden
Sally Thomsett ...
Robert Keegan ...
Harry Ware
Peter Arne ...
Cherina Schaer ...
Colin Welland ...
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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:

No good, no bad, no justice See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strawdogs  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,251,794 (estimated)

Gross:

SEK 794,608 (Sweden)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| (opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Niles' limp was not part of the script. David Warner had broken his leg before production but was able to walk with a cane by the time principal photography started. Because he had broken his foot before shooting (hence the limp), he was considered uninsurable and thus is uncredited. See more »

Goofs

When Amy fires the shotgun at the last attacker both the hammers are in the 'uncocked' position. She would need to pull the hammer of the relevant barrel backwards to cock the gun. See more »

Quotes

Tom Hedden: John Niles; come to me then.
John Niles: Is this for a drink then, Tom?
Tom Hedden: This is for the truth. Your brother; been hangin' around the girls again. You'd better keep a closer watch or we'll be puttin' him away!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dream House (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Fantastic thriller that holds its own after 30 years
24 May 2003 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

Straw Dogs is an intense thriller that shows what can happen when you push even the most mild mannered man too far. Dustin Hoffman plays a mathematician who temporarily moves to a house in a rural village in England with his wife, a former resident of the town, played by Susan George. The two withstand incessant needling from several of the townsfolk until George is raped and assaulted and Hoffman is pushed over the edge.

Incidentally, right after watching this film I found a documentary on cable about filmmakers from the late '60s to late '70s and one of the directors profiled was Sam Peckinpah. I had always considered his films to be violent and vaguely shocking, which never surprised me, knowing that he was a hard-living maverick who did things his way - an element that is resplendent in most of his films. A brief mention of Straw Dogs was included in this documentary, where they described it as a "sexist film". There are obvious scenes in the film that could support this criticism, but I think that is overanalyzing the film with a political correctness that is out of place. While the two female characters are both victimized, Susan George also has her moments of empowerment. I may be a female, but I don't consider Peckinpah's tendency to make testosterone-driven films any more sexist than anything that Tarantino puts out, and I'm a big fan of his work as well. It's a dangerous line to draw when one labels a film due to what is *not* included in a film.

What this film does contain is much more stellar - Hoffman is beyond incredible in this film. His character development is amazing to experience. One criticism of the film that I heard from a friend who saw it before me was that it "dragged." I couldn't disagree more. The development of the story until the extremely violent climax is a perfect pace because it made me feel like I was sitting in a dentist chair, knowing that this low boil could explode at any time. After the dust settles, the viewer is left to decide whether Hoffman's character made the right decision, and left to speculate on the ramifications of the choices made. This is by far one of the best films I've seen in recent months and plan to seek out the newly released Criterion edition in my quest to find out as much about this film as I can.

--Shelly


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