Straw Dogs (1971)

118m (USA – unrated version), 113m (USA – R-rated version; UK)
35mm film, Eastmancolor, 1.85:1
mono, English
Reviewed at The

An American/British borderline horror film directed by Sam Peckinpah.

Plot Summary

Escaping the escalating violence of the urban United States, American mathematician David Sumner returns to the small Cornish village where his wife Amy was born and raised. But Amy's return seems to trigger long repressed violence in some of the locals who start bullying the couple and eventually Amy. As the Sumner's barricade themselves in their homes, the locals lay siege to their farmhouse and the usually placid and timid Sumner is forced to fight back…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Sam Peckinpah
© MCMLXXI [1971] ABC Pictures Corp.
ABC Pictures Corp. presents a Daniel Melnick production. For Talent Associates, Ltd. and Amerbroco Films, Ltd.
Producer: Daniel Melnick
Associate Producer: James Swann
Production Supervisor: Derek Kavanagh
Script: David Zelig Goodman, Sam Peckinpah
Novel: The Siege of Trencher's Farm by Gordon M. Williams
Stand-by Director: Peter Collinson *
Dialogue Director: Katy Haber
Assistant Director: Terry Marcel
2nd Assistant Director: Gary White *
Continuity: Pamela Davies
Director of Photography: John Coquillon
Camera Operator: Herbert Smith
Stills Photography: John Jay *
Film Editors: Roger Spottiswoode, Paul Davies, Tony Lawson
Editorial Consultant: Robert Wolfe
Music by: Jerry Fielding
Sound Recordist: John Bramall
Sound Editor: Garth Craven, Norman Savage *
Wardrobe: Tiny Nicholls
Make-up: Harry Frampton
Hairdresser: Bobbie Smith
Special Effects: John Richardson
Titles Designed by: Anthony Goldschmidt
Production Designer: Ray Simm
Art Director: Ken Bridgeman
Set Dresser: Peter James
Production Design Consultant: Julia Trevelyan Oman
Publicist: Brian Doyle *
Filmed on location in the West of England and at Twickenham Studios, Twickenham, Middlesex, England
Stunt Co-ordinator: Bill Cornelius
Casting: Miriam Brickman

Dustin Hoffman (David Sumner)
Susan George as Amy [Sumner]
Peter Vaughan (Tom Hedden)
T.P. Mckenna (Major Scott)
Del Henney (Venner)
Jim Norton (Cawsey)
Donald Webster (Riddaway)
Ken Hutchison (Scutt)
Len Jones (Bobby Hedden)
Sally Thomsett (Janice)
Robert Keegan (Harry Ware)
Peter Arne (John Niles)
Cherina Schaer (Mrs Hood)
Colin Welland (Reverend Hood)
David Warner [Henry Niles – uncredited]
Michael Mundell [Bertie Hedden – uncredited]
June Brown [Mrs Hedden – uncredited]
Chloe Franks [Emma Hedden – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Cães de Palha – Portugese title
Cane di paglia – Italian title
Les Chiens de paille – French title
De galna hundarna – Swedish title
Nedzne psy – Polish title
Olkikoirat – Finnish title
Perros de paja – Spanish title
Straw Dogs – det galna gänget – Swedish title
Wer Gewalt sät – German title

Straw Dogs (2011)

See also
Dust (2001)
Empire of the Censors (1995)
Fear (1996)

Production Notes

The rape scene was cut in the theatrical prints by 5 minutes – in line with the US R-rated version – and it was this version that saw a (limited) video release in the early days of the home video boom in the early 80s. However, the film was unavailable from the mid-1980s due to BBFC concerns over the scene in which Amy seems to start enjoying the rape. The film was finally passed uncut with an 18 certificate in 2002.



CinemaTV Today no.9962 8 January 1972 p.31 – trade show details (General releases)
The Hollywood Reporter vol.215 no.28 (26 March 1971) p.12 – credits
Interzone no.239 (March/April 2012) p.48 – review (by Tony Lee)
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.38 no.455 (December 1971) p.249 – credits, synopsis, review
The Movie p.1560 – credits, review
Screen International 7 July 1979 p.11 – advert
Today's Cinema no.9877 (2 February 1971) p.9 – credits
Today's Cinema no.9898 (20 April 1971) pp.12-13 – review
Today's Cinema 4 December 1971 p.28 – note
Today's Cinema no.9954 (5 November 1971) p.14 – note (On the move)


Censored Screams: The British Ban on Hollywood Horror in the Thirties by Tom Johnson p.184 – note
English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.197, 206-07, 296, 297, 313, 350
Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.290, 330
Film Review 1972-73 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.232-233
Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay pp.156-157
Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.147-151 – credits, synopsis, review
The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.112