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Straw Dogs [Blu-ray] [1971] [US Import]

Peter Vaughan , Dustin Hoffman    Blu-ray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Peter Vaughan, Dustin Hoffman, Jim Norton, Del Henney
  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Sep 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005DMXV8S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,362 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



According to critic Pauline Kael Straw Dogs was "the first American film that is a fascist work of art". Sam Peckinpah's only film shot in Britain is adapted from a novel by Gordon M Williams called The Siege of Trencher's Farm which Peckinpah described as a "lousy book with one good action-adventure sequence". The setting is Cornwall, where mild-mannered US academic David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) has bought a house with his young English wife Amy (Susan George) in the village where she grew up. David is mocked by the locals (one of whom is Amy's ex-boyfriend) and treated with growing contempt by his frustrated wife, but when his house comes under violent siege he finds unexpected reserves of resourcefulness and aggression.

The movie, Peckinpah noted, was much influenced by Robert Ardrey's macho-anthropological tract, The Territorial Imperative. Its take on Cornish village life is fairly bizarre--this is a Western in all but name--and many critics balked at the transposition of Peckinpah's trademark blood-and-guts to the supposed peace of the British countryside. A scene where Amy is raped caused particular outrage, not least since it's hinted she consents to it. Not for the first time in Peckinpah's movies there are disquieting elements of misogyny, and it doesn't help that the chemistry between Hoffman and George is non-existent. (Impossible to believe these two would ever have clicked, let alone married.) But taken as a vision of irrational violence irrupting into a civilised way of life Straw Dogs is powerful and unsettling, and the action sequences are executed with all Peckinpah's unfailing flair and venom. Oh, and that title? A quote from Chinese sage Lao-Tze, it seems, "The wise man is ruthless and treats the people as straw dogs." The film was long withheld from home viewing in Britain by nervous censors, but this release presents it complete and uncut. --Philip Kemp

On the DVD: Straw Dogs is as jam-packed a disc as is possible for a film made before the days of obligatory "making of" features. Both the sound and visuals have transferred well, and, like the script, have aged well. There's a bumbling original interview in the style of Harry Enfield's Mr. Cholmondley-Warner, along with stills and original trailers. The new material includes a feature on the history of the film's censorship and commentaries by Peckinpah's biographers musing over interesting fan-facts (though none of the speakers have any first-hand experience of the making of the film). However, Katy Haber's commentary, and interviews with Susan George and Dan Melnick, offer a much more in-depth and intimate portrayal of the man and the making of the film. --Nikki Disney

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Terrible blu-ray picture quality 16 Nov 2011
By Mr. J. C. Kent VINE VOICE
Format:Blu-ray|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a great film. It isn't going to be everybody's cup of tea due to its graphic scenes, but it is intelligent and has stood the test of time well. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for this new blu-ray 'remaster'. The picture quality is appalling, with contrast pushed up so high that whites are bleached out and blacks lose all detail. And colours have been changed too, with unnatural greens and the sky almost white rather than blue. Watch the 'Before & After' feature and you can see how natural the colours were BEFORE the restoration. They have completely ruined it. There are quite a lot of good bonus features, particularly the extended interviews, but very little that hasn't been available before. The poor picture quality means that i cannot recommend this disc.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 5 star movie. 1 star Blu ray. 1 Nov 2011
Don't be fooled by the "Fully Restored" claim on the cover of this monstrosity. The transfer is poor with very bright whites and overbearing contrast. I may have to keep the disc for the extras as I don't think I could handle the guilt of selling this disc to some poor unsuspecting soul. The most fascinating extra is the before and after "restoration" comparison where Freemantle tries to convince us that they actually improved the image of this film. Whether the source print or Freemantle's tinkering is to blame for the poor transfer, I could not say. I'm just sorry that I rewarded them with my purchase, but I hope I can prevent others from making the same mistake. I agree with the other reviewers that suggest the region free US Blu ray or get the region 1 Criterion DVD. I will never preorder another Freemantle release. The movie itself is excellent and deserves better representation than this on Blu ray. My most dissapointing Blu ray purchase yet.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Dennis
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
As many reviews here state, the picture quality of this so called restored version is absolutely awful, it's amaturish and looks like the work of an unsupervised trainee who is too young to understand anything about the atmosphere of this very well made film which I will say is 'of it's time'.

I am so appalled by the quality I am returning the dvd even though it has the special features disc. I have now ordered the 2002 release as there are no reviews derrogatory to the image quality.

I feel strongly that Amazon should refuse to sell this 40th anniversary version until the manufacturer has transferred the film in its original colour and not push up the contrast so much as to bleach out the whites and take out any detail in the blacks.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible Image Quality 1 Jan 2013
By Liav T
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The "Straw Dogs - Ultimate 40th Anniversary Edition" by Fremantle is the worst movie release I have seen on the blu-ray format, and of any home video format for that matter.
As explained on the DVDBeaver Site - with accompanying screenshots - the video quality of this release is absolutely terrible. It seems contrast has been pushed to the extreme, resulting in massive loss of detail as well as giving skin tones an unnatural hue.
This movie deserves a edition, and indeed got it in the US ( You are much better off buying the US edition.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would it work better with whiskey, Vicar? 10 Dec 2011
A great film, so I was really looking forward to the ''Fully Restored'' 40th Anniversary Edition Blu ray from Fremantle.
I wish I'd checked the reviews out on here first, though.
Quite simply a dreadful picture, the worst I've ever seen on Blu ray. My old DVD was far better!
One star for the extras.
Avoid this release!
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and essential film... 24 July 2006
Sam Peckinpah's Cornish western has a heritage of controversy trailing in its wake. Perceived by turns as being misogynistic, exploitative, pornographic and gratuitously violent, it was labelled a "video nasty" in the 1980's and was consequently banned from view in the UK until the tail end of the nineties. An intriguing pedigree.

Essentially, what we have is a movie that uproots some of the values, morality and themes governing the mythic cinematic western and transplants them into an English backwater community. The locals are restless, being envious of and despising the American strangers (Dustin Hoffman and wife Susan George) who intrude on their redneck world. The fact that Hoffman's wife used to be one of their own serves to make matters worse, increasing both tension and conflict.

Hoffman wants to avoid trouble and remain peaceable, but ultimately is pushed too far when his cat is killed, wife is raped and his homestead is laid siege to by his tormentors. He stubbornly offers shelter to Niles, the village idiot, who has just inadvertently killed a young girl. His refusal to surrender the man to the (lynch) mob initiates the violent finale. The stage is set for a man doing what a man's gotta do, and this translates as holding the fort whilst killing and maiming as many of the attacking natives as possible.

The controversy surrounding the film stems primarily from the issues of sex and violence. When Amy (Susan George) is raped by one villager she responds ambiguously by first seeming resistant and naturally unwilling to participate and then appearing to enjoy the experience, encouraging her attacker (who is also an ex-boyfriend).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the 1971 Version for Goodness Sake
Such a lot of negative reviews and all for the 40th Anniversary "Fully Restored" version!! Forget that and buy the 1971 version for 0.01 plus P & P! It is a great film. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Mark Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This being the original edition was by far the better- with Susan George playing a Stunning role. Well worth keeping in my collection
Published 4 months ago by P.D.E. ATTWELL
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film!
Does not loose any of its drama with age, and performances by Susan George and Dustin Hoffman are great, why dont they make more films like this?
Published 4 months ago by mrs.j.keith-morris
5.0 out of 5 stars straw dogs
I bought this for my husband, although it's quite violent and gory, it's a classic tale of how the worm turns.
Published 5 months ago by margaret m nolan
Published 5 months ago by ANTHONY HOULTON
5.0 out of 5 stars Beilliant
It was a lot of years since I seen this film, but it still had the same effect. Harrowing!!! Susan Ge
Published 8 months ago by Lynne
5.0 out of 5 stars STRAW DOGS
Published 9 months ago by Mrs B
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb tribute
This movie is in my opinion one of the greatest movies of all time, superb cast led by Dustin Hoffman and the gorgeous Susan George. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Martyn Hart
1.0 out of 5 stars Straw Dogs A Classic???????????
I bought this film because it was supposed to be a classic. I even heard the ending of the new bond compared to this film so I thought must be worth a look and I ordered it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Liz
1.0 out of 5 stars Simply dreadful transfer
I bought this DVD without first checking the reviews on Amazon, but boy I wish I hadn't. I already owned a region one version of the film from way back in 1999, but figured this... Read more
Published 12 months ago by S. Green
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