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Straw Dogs (1971)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 40,683 users  
Reviews: 250 user | 134 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 7.6/10

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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:

Banned In The UK See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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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:

| (Unrated Version)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)| (opening credits)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Hedden's family were originally given roles in the film, but they were either cut or never filmed. June Brown was cast as Hedden's wife, together with Chloe Franks as their daughter Emma, and a scene was scripted featuring both in their home doing laundry with Susan George. However, although the scene was included, it was never filmed. Michael Mundell was originally cast as Cawsey the rat-catcher but was later switched to the role of Bertie Hedden in a scene featuring the village children. However, this entire scripted role was also never filmed because the scene was canceled due to time and budget constraints. See more »

Goofs

After Amy tells David to get some lettuce, David notices the addition symbol on his chalk board changed to subtract by Amy earlier on, when he draws it back on, the symbol before it jumps from being an addition to a subtraction symbol. See more »

Quotes

David Sumner: [after listening to Amy calling the cat] Kitty, kitty, kitty, kitty, shit!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

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