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Straw Dogs -- director: Sam Peckinpah

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Straw Dogs -- director: Sam Peckinpah

Old 09-26-04, 11:56 PM
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I thought it was pretty good. Dustin Hoffman the mathematician kick major ass at the end.
Old 09-27-04, 01:28 AM
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The commentary on the DVD is excellent. It will answer your questions and it may change your mind about the movie.

Last edited by Skull; 09-27-04 at 01:35 AM.
Old 09-27-04, 02:53 AM
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Both of the main characters are very deep, and the dialogue between them reveals a great deal about them, their past, and why they act the way they do. The movie is about violence in general, so if you look at it with an eye for that, it becomes very interesting
Spoiler:
think of the big oafy guy accidentally killing the girl, Hoffman's character killing the birds. The rape scene is meant to be that way, and it further builds the girl's character. The movie really shows Hoffman's character discovering himself after being a coward for his entire life; he pretty much becomes a man, for better or worse.
One of my favorite aspects was like ArchibaldTuttle said, it completely makes you feel uncomfortable, and I've never had a movie do it to me as intensely as Straw Dogs did. I just can't believe you thought the characters were weak. Even the background guys were very well acted even if shallow. The story is pretty simple, but there is plenty of action, and I think the movie is supposed to be a character study more than anything else. Hell if I know though, just my $.02.
Old 09-27-04, 08:22 AM
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Well thought-out post drjay. I did a thesis on this film in one of my film classes back in college and you pretty much nailed the general point of my paper.
Old 09-27-04, 08:56 AM
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It's definitely not a simple movie that can be appreciated by casual viewing, and listening to the commentary may indeed enhance your appreciation of it.
Old 09-27-04, 09:24 AM
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Very well-stated, drjay!
Old 09-27-04, 10:59 AM
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In terms of the themes Peckinpah worked with it fits perfectly into his cannon. It's all about the ideal of a man walking into his house justified and how violence effects that. Watch a double bill of Straw Dogs and Ride The High Country and I think it'll make more sense. I think it's a great film.

Last edited by copiedline; 09-27-04 at 05:55 PM.
Old 09-27-04, 12:01 PM
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def blew me away the first time i rented. quickly got the Criterion and though i have yet to watch it again, i look forward to the day.
it is so wrought with tense emotions that you simply cannot process it all after one sitting. the feelings fester and really get under your skin and thus the movie, the completely harrowing experiences of all the characters lingers in the subconscious to give you that uneasy feeling while watching again or even for the first time. the portrayls were on par with blue collar (the roughians and the town in general), white collar (Dustin), and the beautiful woman that seeks to cause angst both mental, physical, and most importantly sexual with the workers and Dustin.

the underpinning violent themes are all too common back then and today. when the ubermales consistently taunt the lesser we are made to wonder why he would put up with it so long (thinking that he should go off and go off hard on them) and it is only until he pops and confronts the ubers that are we made to realize the pent up tension for being a weakling most of his life has progressed to the point where haunting violence is the only antidote. though the movie was lauded as too violent for back in the day, i think it is justified given the circumstances because in Hoffman's case a slap on the wrist was simply not gonna due anymore.

great flick that deals with full of emotion characters with so many moral dilemmas that the tension keeps building and makes you feel so awkward while watching it and almost bubbling over from exhaustion waiting for the one to snap.
Old 09-27-04, 02:44 PM
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By the way, since no one has mentioned it, Susan George is gorgeous in this.
Old 09-27-04, 03:20 PM
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The reason why she seems to enjoy the rape seems to me that Peckinpah has the faces change to Hoffman so perhaps she is picturing this is the Hoffman character taking the initiative and is being more manly (what she considers a man to be) with her. Taking the initiative and being rough with her like never before. She has problems throughout the film with Hoffman not being her ideal picture of what a man should be and doesn't make love to her at the spur of the moment or tries anything like this.

I find this movie pretty good because it is a simple message or perhaps messages in a way the main one being, If someone challenges your life and puts you in a life or death situation there is no choice but to react and become what you need to be. To adapt to that.
The other one could be what exactly is the idea of what a man should be and why should a man be this way? I think Peckinpah in the final scenes brings my first thought into more of a realization.

The main thing I didn't like was the Lennie from Of Mice and Men like character (that is what it reminded me of atleast) didn't care for the whole idea surrounding that character. I haven't listened to the commentary or anything so this may have been covered in it, just my personal thoughts on it.
Old 09-27-04, 03:24 PM
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I think any film where you have to listen to the commentary to appreciate it has failed. A commentary might enhance ones experience, but it shouldn't be required. Just IMHO.
Old 09-27-04, 06:27 PM
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Originally posted by Groucho
I think any film where you have to listen to the commentary to appreciate it has failed. A commentary might enhance ones experience, but it shouldn't be required. Just IMHO.
I absolutely agree. I watched it three times and took about 10 pages of notes on it prior to watching the features or commentary. The movie just has alot going on--enough that you probably, as said above, need to actively watch it a few times just to catch everything. The commentary makes it a bit easier and kinda filters the stuff and helps you put the pieces together without needing to think as much, so it's really just a question of if you're interested in sitting down and paying real close attention or not.
Old 09-27-04, 06:44 PM
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Originally posted by ArchibaldTuttle
I felt uncomfortable and tense the whole time watching it.
and that's why it's a great movie!


If only so many more movies could do that....
Old 10-28-05, 06:18 PM
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I have a "Straw Dogs" question (some spoilers)

I was wondering the Susan George character actually enjoyed the rape (about mid way through, it seems like she smiles some) Also I didn't understand what the cuts to Dustin Hoffman going out hunting had to do with anything other then the fact that thats what he was doing at the time.

Its an interesting flick (my first Peckenpah), but i don't know about repeat viewings though (i bought the cheap mgm anamorphic version.
Old 10-28-05, 08:07 PM
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It shows how blind he is to those sex-hungry brits who do nothing but drool over his wife.
Old 10-28-05, 08:10 PM
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Well thats your first problem. The cut MGM version cuts out a significant part of the rape, most of which shows she is totally helpless and not liking it. Its really amazing what a minute or so will do

I am not sure if the new MGM version has the cut or uncut version. I know the Criterion version has the uncut version.
Old 10-28-05, 08:47 PM
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Actually, it is very evident that she begins to "get into it" after sternly rebuffing the wanker's advances.Oh, but Susan George; she's still one of the all-time lookers.

The juxtaposition with Hoffman hunting was probably a crude comparison of two types of male-aggression behaviour. Or, it could be a signpost of the gulf of understanding between David and Amy: while he's off pheasant hunting, oblivious to his wife's needs or interests, and ridiculed by the local rowdies, she is being victimized.
Old 10-28-05, 10:39 PM
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At first she was into it. But when the second guy showed up, thats when she wanted it to stop.

I think the cuts to Hoffman were to show how unaware he was about what was going on around him, even while he's out killing.

D
Old 10-29-05, 04:05 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by chanster
The cut MGM version cuts out a significant part of the rape...

I am not sure if the new MGM version has the cut or uncut version.
¿Qué?

There has only been one MGM DVD of this title, and it is uncut. All 3 US DVDs of the film (Anchor Bay, Criterion, and MGM) have had the same uncut verison of the film.

DJ

Last edited by djtoell; 10-29-05 at 04:08 AM.
Old 10-29-05, 09:15 AM
  #45  
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Well at least the theaterical version was cut, like I said I wasn't sure if the MGM version was cut. Sorry.

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