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Straw Dogs
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Straw Dogs (1971) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 34 | slideshow) Videos (see all 4)
Straw Dogs -- Trailer for Straw Dogs
Straw Dogs -- Clip: I Won't Allow Violence Against This House
Straw Dogs -- Clip: I'll Give You One More Chance
Straw Dogs -- Clip: I Thought They Put Him Away

Overview

User Rating:
7.6/10   40,419 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
David Zelag Goodman (screenplay) and
Sam Peckinpah (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Straw Dogs on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 December 1971 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The knock at the door meant the birth of one man and the death of seven others! See more »
Plot:
A young American and his English wife come to rural England and face increasingly vicious local harassment. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
An Example of Early 1970s Cinema See more (247 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Sam Peckinpah 
 
Writing credits
David Zelag Goodman (screenplay) and
Sam Peckinpah (screenplay)

Gordon Williams (novel "The Siege of Trencher's Farm") (as Gordon M. Williams)

Produced by
Daniel Melnick .... producer
James Swann .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Jerry Fielding 
 
Cinematography by
John Coquillon (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Paul Davies 
Tony Lawson 
Roger Spottiswoode 
 
Casting by
Miriam Brickman 
 
Production Design by
Ray Simm 
 
Art Direction by
Ken Bridgeman 
 
Makeup Department
Harry Frampton .... makeup artist
Bobbie Smith .... hairdresser
Peter Frampton .... makeup assistant (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Derek Kavanagh .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Terry Marcel .... assistant director
Nick Farnes .... assistant director (uncredited)
Michael Murray .... third assistant director (uncredited)
Gary White .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Peter James .... set dresser
Julia Trevelyan Oman .... production design consultant
 
Sound Department
John Bramall .... sound recordist
Garth Craven .... sound editor
Michael Ellis .... sound dialogue editor (uncredited)
Norman Savage .... sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
John Richardson .... special effects
Peter Hutchinson .... special effects assistant (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Anthony Goldschmidt .... title designer
 
Stunts
Bill Cornelius .... stunt coordinator
Peter Brayham .... stunts (uncredited)
Joe Dunne .... stunts (uncredited)
Sue Longhurst .... stunt double: Susan George (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Herbert Smith .... camera operator
John Jay .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tiny Nicholls .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Robert L. Wolfe .... editorial consultant (as Robert Wolfe)
 
Music Department
Jerry Fielding .... conductor (uncredited)
Lennie Niehaus .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Pamela Davies .... continuity
Katherine Haber .... dialogue director (as Katy Haber)
George Davis .... production accountant (uncredited)
Brian Doyle .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Susan Shaw .... body double: Susan George (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Strawdogs" - USA (review title)
See more »
Runtime:
113 min | 119 min (Unrated Version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited) | Black and White (opening credits)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R (original rating) | Australia:MA (DVD re-rating) (2004) | Brazil:18 | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (1981) | Finland:K-18 (cut) (1971) | France:-16 | Germany:16 (re-rating) (2007) | Hong Kong:III | Iceland:16 | Ireland:18 | Italy:VM18 (original rating) | Italy:VM14 (re-rating) | Japan:R-15 | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | New Zealand:R18 | Norway:18 | Peru:18 | Portugal:M/16 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:18 (tv rating) | UK:18 (video re-rating) (2002) (uncut) | UK:(Banned) (video rating) (1999) | UK:18 (re-rating) (1995) | USA:R | USA:R (cut) | USA:Unrated (uncut) | West Germany:18 (original rating)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The opening pub scene mentions "thirty bob." This sum was, in pre-decimal money, 50% more than a pound. A pound, pre-1971, consisted of 20 shillings. Also, for modern audiences, it would be perhaps helpful to know that UK licensing laws required pubs to close every afternoon between 2.30pm and 6pm - though the precise times were variable, because of various by-laws ,in differing counties and boroughs.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Featured in "X-Rated" (2004)See more »
Soundtrack:
Symphony No.94See more »

FAQ

What are the differences between the R-Rated and Unrated Version?
See more »
83 out of 105 people found the following review useful.
An Example of Early 1970s Cinema, 4 October 2001
Author: marquis de cinema from Boston, MA

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.

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