Thursday, July 6, 2017

1971 - STRAW DOGS, a violent mess of a film

Sam Peckinpah's film is usually called controversial.  However so much time has passed since the film was released and film violence has seen the bar raised to new levels about the only thing controversial about this film is the rather shoddy story structure.  I still wouldn't let the kids watch this film if you are looking for a fun family night at the movies.

Dustin Hoffman plays the wimp college professor living in Cornwall England with his little too sexy for her own good wife played by Susan George who specialized in these trampy parts.  After lots of what can only be called sexual harassment leading too non consensual sex (maybe) the film hits its climax with a violent attack on Hoffman's home by a bunch of the locals.  The point of this all appears to be that Hoffman discovers his ability to kill while defending his home.

For a guy who started his career as a writer and who took a writer's credit on this film.  The story structure is really a mess.  Hoffman's character is a very unpleasant guy so you can't work up much sympathy for him.  Susan George has the truly thankless role of being the tease who starts all the trouble.  Peckinpah is apparently trying to make some point about violence and sex but what?  Being a naughty girl can get you in trouble?

Even as a director this is a disappointing film.  There is none of his famous slow motion violence and the Cornish countryside is certainly not filmed to exploit it's scenery.  But who am I to say this film is considered a classic.

117 minutes.

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