7.5/10
47,377
263 user 152 critic

Straw Dogs (1971)

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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4,554 ( 80)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. 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
...
Cherina Schaer ...
...
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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:

Every man dreads the day he might be forced to defend his wife and his home. For David, today is the day. 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 1972 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Strawdogs  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,251,794 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| (opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Linda Hayden auditioned for the role of Amy. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where David is taken duck shooting, he fires his gun into the air at ducks flying overhead. We see ducks flying to the right and straightaway to the left. It is the same film reversed. See more »

Quotes

Reverend Barney Hood: Radiation. That's an unfortunate dispensation.
David Sumner: Surely is. Yes, indeed.
Reverend Barney Hood: As long as it's not another bomb.
[beat]
Reverend Barney Hood: You're a scientist - can you deny the responsibility?
David Sumner: Can you?
[beat]
David Sumner: After all, there's never been a kingdom given to so much bloodshed as that of Christ.
Reverend Barney Hood: [beat] That's Montesquieu, isn't it?
David Sumner: Oh, really?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Enter the Ninja (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Cara Nome
(uncredited)
from "Rigoletto"
Music by Giuseppe Verdi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Could they show this in 1971?
14 July 1999 | by (North Carolina, USA) – See 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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