Straw Dogs

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"Sometimes a man is forced to defend his honor."
  • R
  • 1971
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 7.4  (63,575)
  • 73

Straw Dogs is a psychological thriller film directed by Sam Peckinpah, based on the novel "The Siege of Trencher's Farm" by Gordon Williams. The movie was released in 1971 and features an impressive cast that includes Dustin Hoffman, Susan George, and Peter Vaughan. The story revolves around David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman), a young American mathematician who moves to a secluded village in Cornwall with his English wife, Amy (Susan George). The couple hopes to escape the fast-paced life of the city and find peace in the countryside. David plans to work on a research project while Amy works on the remodeling of their new home.

Upon their arrival, the locals are friendly and welcoming, but as time passes, tensions begin to rise. David’s closed-off personality and his lack of respect for local customs and traditions make him unpopular with the villagers. Amy, on the other hand, begins to attract attention from the local men, especially her ex-boyfriend Charlie (Del Henney).

As the couple tries to settle in, their relationship starts to suffer. David seems more interested in his work than in his wife, and Amy feels ignored and neglected. When a group of local men, led by Charlie, begin to harass the couple, David refuses to take any action, believing that they will eventually leave him alone.

Things come to a head when the local men break into the couple's home and violently attack them. David, who is initially reluctant to use violence, is forced to take matters into his own hands to defend his home and his wife.

Straw Dogs is a psychological thriller that explores themes of violence, masculinity, and power dynamics. Director Sam Peckinpah creates a tense and suspenseful atmosphere throughout the film, building up to a dramatic and violent climax.

The performances of the cast are exceptional. Dustin Hoffman delivers a nuanced portrayal of a man struggling with his own sense of masculinity and morality. Susan George shines as Amy, who is torn between her loyalty to her husband and her desire for attention and affection. Peter Vaughan is excellent as Tom Hedden, the village elder who serves as a mediator between David and the locals.

The film's use of violence has been controversial over the years. Some have criticized the movie for its explicit and brutal depictions of violence, while others have praised it for its realistic portrayal of human aggression and brutality. Regardless of one's stance on the issue, it cannot be denied that the violence in the film is integral to its themes and narrative.

Straw Dogs was not a commercial success upon its release, but it has since become a cult classic and a staple of the psychological thriller genre. The movie's examination of human nature and the power dynamics that drive people to violence continues to be relevant and thought-provoking today.

Straw Dogs
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.4  (63,575)
  • Metascore