Straw Dogs
1971, 118 min.
ABC Pictures

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

Prod Daniel Melnick; Dir Sam Peckinpah; Scr David Zelag Goodman, Sam Peckinpah (based on the novel The Siege Of Trencher's Farm by Gordon M. Williams); Dir of photog John Coquillon (Eastman Color); Music Jerry Fiedling; Editors Paul Davies, Roger Spottiswoode, Tony Lawson; Prod Des Ray Simm; Art dir Ken Bridgeman; Set dec Peter James; Cos Tiny Nicholls; Makeup Harry Frampton

Genre: Drama

Summary: Disturbed by mounting violence in the United States, and distressed by growing tension in his marriage, an American mathemetician named David Sumner moves to a farm in the small Cornish village where his wife Amy spent her childhood. Financially secure because of a grant given him for the writing of a treatise on astro-physics, David hopes to find peace of mind in the tranquil English countryside. But the villagers, particularly four men he has employed to repair a barn roof, treet David's mild manner with open contempt and brazenly ogle his teasingly seductive wife. And it is not long before their contempt takes a turn toward perversity: one day the couple finds Amy's pet cat strangled and hanging in a closet. Though Amy suspects the four workmen, David not only fails to confront the men--he accepts their invitation to join them on a snipe hunt. While Daivd sits in a field holding his rifle and waiting for a good shot, two of the men sneak back to the farm and brutally rape Amy. Because her horror at the violence was mingled with lust, Amy cannot bring herself to tell David about the attack; but while attending a church social concert, she recalls the incident, breaks down, and asks David to take her home. Driving along a dark and foggy country road, David's car knocks down Henry Niles, a village simpleton who unwittingly strangled a young girl when she taunted him with sexual advances. Despite Amy's protests, and unaware of the murder, David takes the injured man home an tries to reach a doctor. When this fails, he telephones the village pub for assistance. But the slain girl's father, a sadistic alcoholic names Tod Haden, recruits the four burly workmen for a lynching mob and leads a march on David's house. Ordered to hand over Henry, David finally takes a stand and refuses to obey: "This is where I live. This is me. I will not allow violence against this house." As the group lays siege to the farm, David assembles primitive weapons (a knife, a steel trap, scalding liquid, a fireplace poker, a double-barrelled shotgun) and kills or maims four of the attackers. And the fifth dies when Amy takes David's rifle and fires full blast into the man's chest. Stimulated by the murderous triumph, David drives Henry Niles back to town. When the simpleton says "I don't know where I live," David replies, "That's okay...I don't either." --Film Facts, 1971