MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 1,525 this week

Straw Dogs (1971)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 38,187 users  
Reviews: 247 user | 128 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 35 images
created 27 Dec 2010
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 month ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs (1971) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Straw Dogs.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Taxi Driver (1976)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A mentally unstable Vietnam war veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.

Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd
Amores Perros (2000)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot
Stars: Yves Montand, Charles Vanel, Peter van Eyck
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Jumpei Niki, a Tokyo based entomologist and educator, is in a poor seaside village collecting specimens of sand insects. As it is late in the day and as he has missed the last bus back to ... See full summary »

Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Stars: Eiji Okada, Kyôko Kishida, Hiroko Itô
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A professional assassin codenamed "Jackal" plots to kill Charles de Gaulle, the President of France.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Edward Fox, Terence Alexander, Michel Auclair
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The movie is based on the infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" conducted in 1971. A makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. For ... See full summary »

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel
Stars: Moritz Bleibtreu, Christian Berkel, Oliver Stokowski
Ugetsu (1953)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A fantastic tale of war, love, family and ambition set in the midst of the Japanese Civil Wars of the sixteenth century.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Stars: Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyô, Kinuyo Tanaka
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A wealthy New York investment banking executive hides his alternate psychopathic ego from his co-workers and friends as he escalates deeper into his illogical, gratuitous fantasies.

Director: Mary Harron
Stars: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas
Black Swan (2010)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A ballet dancer wins the lead in "Swan Lake" and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan - Princess Odette - but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Director: Darren Aronofsky
Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Edit

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 ...
Edit

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:

Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

29 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:

| (R-rated)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| (opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Reverend Barney Hood and his wife visit David and Amy Sumner to invite them to a church social, Barney and David discuss science and religion. David recites a quotation, "There's never been a kingdom given to so much bloodshed as that of Christ." Barney recognizes the quotation to be from Montesquieu. Montesquieu was a French social commentator who lived from 1689 to 1755. He is sometimes credited with the concept of separation of powers that was incorporated into the U.S. constitution. See more »

Goofs

As David and Amy Sumner drive up to their house for the first time, the camera crew is reflected in the car's side window. See more »

Quotes

David Sumner: Why don't you grow up?
Amy Sumner: I'm trying to!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sam Peckinpah's West: Legacy of a Hollywood Renegade (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony No.94
(The "Surprise") (uncredited)
Music by Joseph Haydn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An Example of Early 1970s Cinema
4 October 2001 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Straw Dogs(1971) reveals a primal human action that is the driving force behind its characters. As with Deliverance(1972), Straw Dogs also is fascinated with the violent urge within the human soul. The primal aspect of the human being is provocatively examined in Straw Dogs(1971). Sam Peckinpah forcefully depicts issues that were hinted at in The Wild Bunch(1969). Paints a dark picture of humanity with the person's frightening ability to harm at any time. The title of the film ties in perfectly with the nature of the story.

An interesting example of a vigilante film before the subgenre became fashionable. Films before had dealt with the theme of revenge but rarely as brutal or primal as in Straw Dogs(1971). Predates Death Wish(1974) by three years. The uncredited inspiration for Death Wish(1974) and others of its kind. Both films include Meek liberal men who explode with violent anger in different ways. Shows revenge and the consequences behind the act of revenge in a realistic dimension.

Straw Dogs(1971) marked the first film Sam Peckinpah did which wasn't a Western. The film's direction creates a powerful piece of cinema with a strong European sensibility. Its a shame Sam Peckinpah never did more European Thrillers after SD. One film which mixes the American style of Peckinpah's Westerns with the European touch of Straw Dogs(1971) is Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia(1974). At times the movie looks as if it could have been done by Hammer Studios. An indication that the late filmmaker could succeed outside of the Western genre.

Good at showing that any person(even peaceful natured)can be capable of violent action at any given moment. The interactions between David Sumner and the Village Reverand is filled with subtle hostility. Represents the conflict between religion and science which is wittily enforced in the dialogue between the two. The locations of Cornwall becomes an important part of the film's emotion. Intense atmosphere is what gives the film a tinge of horror. Straw Dogs(1971) is in a couple of ways a British take on the Deliverance story.

There seems to be something autobiographical within the frames of the story. Deals with the idea of Man's violent rites of passage that Sam Peckinpah was only too familiar with. David Sumner symbolizes the private inner self of Sam Peckinpah's persona. The intense relationship between David and Amy Sumner was based on the director's experiences with marriage and relations with women. His direction of the actors is masterful. Has to be one of the director's most personal(perhaps his most personal)film of his directorial resume.

A notorious sequence from Straw Dogs(1971) is the infamous rape of Amy Sumner which plays a tricky balance between the abhorrent and the erotic without spilling over to either side. I can imagine the many people that were taken aback by this scene especially during the first rape when it turns into a love scene. Without the dark humor that was present in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange(1971). Excellently edited scene with some powerful intercutting. Not an overly graphic scene but more psychological with the camera's focus on Susan George's face. Its the psychological abasement and reaction of Amy that is the true disturber of the senses.

There is an interesting sub plot between Henry Niles and Janice Hedden that is inspired by OF MICE AND MEN. The director was heavily influenced by the works of John Steinbeck, none so evident as in the characterizations of Henry Niles. Henry Niles is absolutely patterened after the strong but slow witted Lenny from OF MICE & MEN. David Warner pulls off an fantastic performance in a complex role. The scene in the church stable is reminiscent of Lenny and his bosses wife meeting in a barn during OF MICE & MEN. Henry Niles is alot like the misunderstood alleged witch of Don't Torture a Duckling(1972).

From the very beginning a confrontation between the house workers and David Sumner becomes inevitable. There is some major tension that grows to a boiling point until the hot pot explodes during the climax. The actors do a convincing job in displaying tension with their emotions. When the confrontation finally does happen everything becomes chaotic and violent. This part of the film may have influneced Wes Craven to a certain extent when he did Last House on the Left(1971). By the climax of Straw Dogs, David Sumner despises the house workers so much that he uses Henry Niles as an excuse to strike back at them.

Where the bloodbath at the film's finale reaches a fever pitch is when reason turns to bloodlust. When the confrontation began there were reasons for each group but as it progressed the two parties become more interested in killing each other. I find it funny that the two groups become less concern in finding Janice Hedden and more concern in fighting to the death. It just shows that protecting one's land or property is the most important thing to a man. David Sumner and the house workers battle each other in a manner similar to the landowners of the Middle Ages. Sombre use of slow motion effects and editing techniques turns the climax into a nerve twister.

Dustin Hoffman is very good in the role of the timid turned violent David Sumner. Susan George in her role projects both vurnability and eroticism. The film's climax would be rehased for the house attack in The Osterman Weekend(1983). When Sam Peckinpah also worked as a writer in his films the results were usually brilliant. This is the case with Straw Dogs(1971). Straw Dogs(1971) is an impressive film of an era when filmmakers were not afraid to take chances with risky subject matters.


77 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
similar movies in terms of the rape scene i_am_uncool
The Cat snidgeskin
Was she enjoying it - or what? orangeattack
The rat man shamila-shaheen4
Anyone think of Home Alone? martstrum
David Warner Clayman82
Discuss Straw Dogs (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?