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Straw Dogs 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray]

 Unrated   Blu-ray
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 25.99
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Straw Dogs 40th Anniversary [Blu-ray] + Dressed To Kill [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) + Blue Velvet [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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One of Sam Peckinpah's most controversial efforts, this film came out at a critical moment in the early 1970s, released in the same month as both Dirty Harry and A Clockwork Orange, causing a furor over film violence. Based on a little-known British novel, the film casts Dustin Hoffman as a bookish American mathematician on sabbatical in rural England, in the town where his young bride (Susan George) grew up. He finds himself forced to defend his home against an assault by local toughs, and discovers a frighteningly feral and vicious side to himself. Though Straw Dogs has a reputation for graphic violence, it actually looks tame by contemporary standards. Instead, the violence is psychological, and the suspense and shocks are induced by the editing--you're more terrified by what you think you see than by what you are actually shown. --Marshall Fine

Special Features

Despite its superior tone and a few debatable assertions, the Straw Dogs commentary by Peckinpah scholar Stephen Prince is astutely observant and thematically cohesive, effectively placing the film in its proper sociopolitical context. Prince's articulate reasoning corrects decades of misguided critical analysis while supporting Peckinpah's artistic intentions, including the fact that Dustin Hoffman plays the "heavy," and not the British bullies who provoke him to violence. The superb BBC documentary Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron offers perfect balance from the artist's perspective, as a majority of Peckinpah's closest friends and colleagues reminisce about a difficult man who inspired great extremes of passion. Highlights include anecdotes by Kris Kristofferson and longtime Peckinpah associate and screenwriter James Silke, whose shared memories are heartbreakingly poignant.

A 1971 on-set profile of Hoffman offers a fascinating portrait of the actor at the peak of early success, eager to transcend his Graduate persona. Similar British archival clips show Peckinpah at work; teasing glimpses of a gentleman who never suffered fools. The love-hate dynamic that Peckinpah inspired is especially evident in the illuminating 2002 interviews with Straw Dogs costar Susan George and producer Daniel Melnick, both full of anecdotal affection, humor, and pride in their controversial film; it's a pity Hoffman didn't participate. Peckinpah himself is powerfully present in written response to critics and detractors, and in a prickly 1974 interview with French-Canadian critic Andre Leroux. Taken together, these and other excellent supplements convey the depth and sophistication of a self-proclaimed violent man who had noble reasons for elevating the depiction and discussion of cinematic violence. --Jeff Shannon


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Straw Dogs (The Criterion Collection) DVD Aug. 17 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I saw the movie years ago and thought it was groundbreaking. The violence is intense but I found myself totally engrossed in the turbulence. This Criterion DVD is the best possible print available and includes many extra features. Dustin Hoffman and the rest of the cast are truly amazing. Buy this DVD if you like the film you can't go wrong.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless classic June 20 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought the DVD to preserve the memory of a movie I saw shortly after its release. I am not sure which genre it fits under but the script is original, the story taut, the acting brilliant and the portrayal of violence is of quality only Sam Peckinpah can deliver.
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By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This film is one of the best works of Sam Peckinpah this movie deals with the true humanitarian phenomena, human nature for sexual orientation and needs and the most human seduction and temptation. This movie thrills you from the start to the end and the most magnificent aspect of the movie is its ambiguity and confusing nature of climax. "Straw Dogs" is an intense thriller that shows what can happen when you push even the mildest mannered man too far. In here, Dustin Hoffman plays a mathematician who temporarily moves to a house in a rural village in England with his wife, a former resident of the town, played by Susan George. The two withstand incessant needling from several of the townsfolk until George is raped and assaulted and Hoffman is pushed over the edge.

Incidentally, right after watching this film I found a documentary on cable about filmmakers from the late '60s to late '70s and one of the directors profiled was Sam Peckinpah. I had always considered his films to be violent and vaguely shocking, which never surprised me, knowing that he was a hard-living maverick who did things his way - an element that is resplendent in most of his films. A brief mention of Straw Dogs was included in this documentary, where they described it as a "sexist film". There are obvious scenes in the film that could support this criticism, but I think that is overanalyzing the film with a political correctness that is out of place. While the two female characters are both victimized, Susan George also has her moments of empowerment. I may be a female, but I don't consider Peckinpah's tendency to make testosterone-driven films any more sexist than anything that Tarantino puts out, and I'm a big fan of his work as well.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice flic Nov. 28 2011
Format:Blu-ray
I'm very glad that I bought this movie.
It's a very nice movie and I can see why they did a remake.
Dustin Hoffman is a great actor and he makes a convincing "coward".
The print is very good for such and old movie. I watched it on my 46" TV and thought the image was pretty clear.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Straw Dogs Nov. 21 2011
By Geoff
Format:DVD
The DVD stops about 3/4 of the way through and then goes to the main menu. If you then choose "scenes" to return to where you were it continues to do the same thing. Worst video I have purchased from Amazon.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really Terrifying but Good Oct. 13 2011
Format:Blu-ray
This movie was even more amazing watching it on our large screen tv - we hadn't seen it for more than 25 years and it was crystal clear. The movie is fantastic, especially crisp & clean since it's a blu ray. Might be a bit gory to some, but we were expecting that & didn't bother to go to the new version that's out in theatres now. You cannot improve on any original movie that is sheer perfection. I'd recommend this movie to anyone who is not squeamish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Film Which Stands the Test of Time. April 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD
This is a really interesting film on many levels. It's not perfect; but, few works of modern art are. Nevertheless, this work stands the test of time. Firstly, one of the most remarkable things about this film is the absolutely Hitchcockian editing, which is remotely primitivistic, but strangely compelling: the editing engenders a peculiar ambience to the film right from the beginning brawl scene in the pub. Then, from the denoument sequence--which begins with the equally primitive church function and runs through to the climax and epilogue--the editing is nothing less than fine art. Secondly, the sets of the pub and the farm house are very convincing and interesting in their own right: there's plenty to look at. Also, the outdoor scenes with the ocean in background and the Cornish village all have the verisimilitude of realism. Thirdly, the soundtrack is not at all bad. Fourthly, the acting is good: of course, Hoffman is nothing less than brilliant; Peter Vaughn is excellent as the burly boorish Englishman; and Susan George isn't bad: she begins weak, but by the middle of the film she's quite okay, and from the denoument mentioned above, she's fine. Also, David Warner as the half-witted cripple is excellent--though not given notice in the credits. Lastly, the story is fairly well formed and possibly plausible--though that's no recommendation for fiction! Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE!!!
I agree with another reviewer in that you'll either love this or hate it. But I think most people will hate it. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by "nightphoto"
5.0 out of 5 stars Another amazing masculine character study by Peckinpah.
It's not at all hard to see the connection between Peckinpah's two greatest movies: Straw Dogs and The Wild Bunch. Read more
Published on March 25 2004 by Mephistopheles
1.0 out of 5 stars Time to bring this film to justice
The only thing more gut-wrenching and discouraging than actually watching Straw Dogs is reading reviews, both here and elsewhere, that miss what is wrong with this movie. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Ken Hutchison
I liked this movie but only saw it because I try to see as many of the movies Ken Hutchison appears in as possible. He plays Norman Scutt and is great as usual. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004 by Meadow Sage
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film with a message that is still true today!!!
Even though this film was released in the late 60's the message is still very modern. Hoffman gives what I think is one the best performances of his career as a mathmatician who's... Read more
Published on Feb. 3 2004 by El Smoksta
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Hoffman, Brilliant Film...
David (Dustin Hoffman) and Amy Sumner move from the United States to the isolated parts of England from where Amy grew up in order for David to work on his mathematical research in... Read more
Published on Jan. 2 2004 by Kim Anehall
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