Controversial back in 1971, not much has changed in today’s world.
Astrophysicist David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and wife, Amy (Susan George), move to England to get away from the violence in America. But the Sumners learn that things are no better on the other side of the pond when local construction workers intimidate and exploit the couple. The trouble turns into a bloody battle when David — who discovers a feral and vicious side of himself — is forced to defend his home after Amy gets raped.
So this film caught my attention cause it was released along the same time as A Clockwork Orange, and Dirty Harry which were both violent films. And somehow, this one sticks in my mind the most.
First of all the story is just so rich. It starts off as a normal story of a couple who moved to Ireland, and then things just get out of hand one by one, and then it gets crazy. You really feel the need to cheer Hoffman on as he is the total innocent victim in all of this.
Director Sam Peckinpah really does give his best and most controversial effort. He shows this violence in such a way to where its not being exploited but as a symbol for the violence that was uprising in the world. The last 30 minutes will just have you so amazed as to how beautiful this scene is, even though it is so damn violent.
The violence didn’t really turn me off that much, if at all. I wanted to see this Irish assholes (sorry dad) just dead and in such a horrible way too. The one disturbing scene is the infamous rape scene which will surely test your boundries of what you think you have seen before in film. The scene is very very disturbing, and will actually have you turning away from the camera.
Dustin Hoffman is on the top of his game here as the nerd who has always been running away his whole life, and finally gets a chance to face his fear and does it so well. His wife played by Susan George does surprisingly well, especially in the rape scene where at first she is in pain, but soon starts to be pleasured, and was played so realistically and well.
The only problem I had with this film was one part where when she gets raped, and doesn’t tell her husband about it. He just wonders and tells them to all stop working there without him really knowing what happened in the first place.
Consensus: With controversial violence and rape, Straw Dogs is a beautiful character study, that shows violence happening in such a way that isn’t disgusting, but more of genuine. One of Peckinpah’s best efforts, and Hoffman in top form.