David, an American mathematician and his vivacious wife Amy move to a small village in Cornwall, England where Amy grew up. Trouble starts in the form an on old boyfriend of Amy, eventually spreading on to a group of drunken villagers who begin to torment and intimidate the couple. David, being timid by nature, invites trouble by not standing up to the abuse & harassment meted out, until one day when he unleashes a violent side unknown even to himself.
Running Time:
118 mins
Release date:
29 December 1971
Directed by:
Sam Peckinpah
Produced by:
Daniel Melnick
Written by:
Sam Peckinpah
David Zelag Goodman
Based on:
The Siege of Trencher’s Farm by
Gordon M. Williams
Dustin Hoffman
Susan George
Peter Vaughan
T. P. McKenna
Music by:
Jerry Fielding
Shot by:
John Coquillon
Editing by:
Paul Davies
Tony Lawson
Roger Spottiswoode
Distributed by:
Cinerama Releasing Corporation

What’s Hot

  • Dustin Hoffman as David Sumner, is a revelation in his role of the quiet male chauvinistic man focused in his academic pursuits. His transition when he is forced to take drastic action to defend himself, his wife and his home from attack is astounding.
  • The supporting characters such as his wife and the village members add effect to the drama. The people who harass the couple play their role to perfection persistently getting under the skin with their snide remarks and greedy eyes.
  • The lighting and the sound throughout the film is exemplary building up the film to the shocking climax. The climax is haunting with the Irish music blaring in the background and the cinematography making us feel almost claustrophobic.
  • Even though the screenplay seems slow with many passive scenes, it seems justified since such a build-up was necessary for David’s volte-face. Kudos to Sam Peckinpah for sticking to his guns and not deviating from the central theme.

What’s Not

  • Sam Peckinpah’s depiction of women is almost misogynistic and we see them displayed as just objects with no particular focus on their emotions.
  • The film contains graphic distasteful nudity and unapologetic depiction of extreme gruesome violence and is surely not for the faint-hearted.



Verdict Stamp

Straw Dogs is a disturbing thriller that explores violence like never before and features a gritty performance from Dustin Hoffman.