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Straw Dogs (2011)

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2:52 | Trailer
Los Angeles screenwriter David Sumner relocates with his wife to her hometown in the deep South. There, while tensions build between them, a brewing conflict with locals becomes a threat to them both.

Director:

Rod Lurie

Writers:

Rod Lurie (screenplay), David Zelag Goodman (earlier screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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4,461 ( 2,171)
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marsden ... David Sumner
Kate Bosworth ... Amy Sumner
Alexander Skarsgård ... Charlie
James Woods ... Tom Heddon
Dominic Purcell ... Jeremy Niles
Rhys Coiro ... Norman
Billy Lush ... Chris
Laz Alonso ... John Burke
Willa Holland ... Janice Heddon
Walton Goggins ... Daniel Niles
Anson Mount ... Coach Milkens
Drew Powell ... Bic
Kristen Shaw ... Abby
Megan Adelle Megan Adelle ... Melissa
Jessica Dockrey Jessica Dockrey ... Helen (as Jessica Cook)
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Storyline

Screenwriter David Sumner travels with his wife Amy in his Jaguar to her homeland Blackwater, in Mississippi. Amy's father has passed away and David intends to write his screenplay about Stalingrad in the house. David hires the contractor Charlie and his team to repair the roof of the Barn. Amy was Charlie's sweetheart when she lived there and neither he nor his crew show respect to her now. Charlie invites David to hunt deer with his group and him; but they leave David alone in the woods and rape Amy. She does not tell David what happened. When the drunken coach Tom Heddon calls Charlie and his friends to hunt down the slow Jeremy Niles, who likes his daughter, David decides to protect not only Jeremy, but also Amy and his honor. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

We take care of our own. See more »

Genres:

Action | 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 September 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Straw Dogs See more »

Filming Locations:

Bossier City, Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,123,760, 18 September 2011

Gross USA:

$10,324,441

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,168,712
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in the UK almost 40 years to the day of the original 1971 version, which came out November 3 1971. See more »

Goofs

The two registration stickers on David's Jaguar E-Type's rear California license plate at first appear on the bottom corners of the plate (which is in itself a goof) but in later shots appear on the upper corners as is correct for California license plates. See more »

Quotes

Charlie: You want your glasses. Go ahead put 'em on, I want you to see what's coming, David...
See more »

Alternate Versions

The versions released in India (English original and Hindi dubbed) are relatively shorter in duration as compared to the original. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Special Collector's Edition: Perros de paja (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Funk #49
Written by Joe Walsh (as Joseph Walsh), Dale Peters and Jim Fox
Performed by James Gang (as The James Gang)
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
What are You Capable of?
18 September 2011 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. If you have seen Sam Peckinpah's classic 1971 original with Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, it is impossible to watch this remake without comparing the two films. Because of that, these comments will include some comparative notes. After all, it's been 40 years and most people watching this new version have never seen the original.

Director Rod Lurie follows the Peckinpah version pretty closely with the obvious changes being a move from the English countryside to the deep south (Mississippi), and the main characters are now a screenwriter and actress instead of mathematical whiz and ... well, whatever Susan George's character was in the original. Those are the obvious changes, but not the most significant. I really missed the subtlety and psychological trickery delivered by Peckinpah, especially in the relationship between David and Amy.

Lurie chooses to take advantage of the physical screen presence of Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) as Charlie, the local stud and Amy's ex. Charlie's past exploits on the football field and his creepy leadership skills with his posse of thugs, provide the yin of physical strength to the yang of David's intelligence. It's interesting to note that this version spells out Sun-Tzu's description of "straw dogs" while Peckinpah left his audience to fend for themselves. But, of course, what this boils down to is just how far can a civilized person be pushed ... and how far is the bully willing to go?

James Woods is a welcome and terrifying addition to the new version. Since it is based in the small town south, high school football must play a role. Woods is the former high school coach who is now a violent drunk, and still leader of his former players. He is a sadistic type who picks on Jeremy Niles (Dominic Purcell), the slow-witted brother of Daniel (Walton Goggins) and constantly accuses him of inappropriate behavior with his 15 year old cheerleader daughter.

James Marsden (Hairspray) and Kate Bosworth (Remember the Titans) play David and Amy. They come back to Amy's childhood home so she can rest and David can have some peace and quiet while writing his screenplay on the Battle of Stalingrad. Well, we couldn't really have him writing a rom-com, could we? From Day One, the peace and quiet is clearly missing and Lynyrd Skynyrd wins out over Bach in the battle of radio volume. Tension builds and David is tested daily over what it means to be a man ... tested by the local hicks and doubted by his lovely wife.

Things turn from bad to worse when the locals invite David to go hunting with them. What happens with Charlie and Amy during this time changes everything. This sequence was the key to the controversy of the original and what caused it to be banned in many cities and countries. Lurie chooses to handle it in a very straightforward manner - plus, times and mores have changed quite a bit in the last 40 years.

For me, the Peckinpah original remains a classic film with brilliant psychological undertones which left me feeling very uncomfortable and questioning what I might do in this situation. Lurie's new version offered little of that but does work fine as a straightforward suspenseful thriller.


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