History Film / StrawDogs

10th Jul '15 7:56:50 AM Morgenthaler
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10th Jul '15 7:55:06 AM Morgenthaler
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[[quoteright:325:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Straw_dogs_movie_poster_7935.jpg]]

->''"All right. You've had your fun. And if you don't clear out now... there'll be real trouble. I mean it."''
-->-- '''David Sumner'''

''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action. When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.

A [[Film/StrawDogs2011 2011 remake starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth]] has been released. Please put tropes regarding that film [[Film/StrawDogs2011 here]].

----
!!''Straw Dogs'' contains examples of:

* AntiHero: Taken as a whole, the film is a chronicle of David's transformation from a ClassicalAntiHero into either an UnscrupulousHero or a NominalHero. This change is not presented as a good thing.
* BadassBookworm: David.
* BerserkButton: David finally snaps when the local toughs try to [[spoiler:invade his home and drag out a man for some vigilante justice]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: David is acquiescent and does not protest his poor treatment at the hands of the locals, but then flips to gruesome killer when they try to invade his home and kill everyone inside.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: None of the main characters are without serious flaws, and no one seems to be totally in the right.
** The vigilantes [[spoiler: are composed of violent drunks, murderers, and rapists. The man they're after really ''is'' a murderer and a continuing danger to the public, but he's also clearly mentally handicapped and unable to entirely grasp the consequences of his actions.]]
** Amy's old flame Charlie [[spoiler: forces himself on her, but she eventually welcomes his embrace. Minutes later, he helps another man rape her, though he does so somewhat unwillingly. Later, he rescues Amy from the same man.]]
** David himself [[spoiler: seems to be a distant husband, but his wife also seems to be quite needy. He takes a passive-aggressive approach to confrontations with his wife and the local toughs. When he does take a stand, it's to defend a murderer. In the end, he roughs up his wife in a manner reminiscent of her rape and he attacks Charlie even though the man had just defended his wife from a rapist, and kills him against her pleas.]]
* BlownAcrossTheRoom
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The cornish game hen trap]].
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: David, who [[spoiler:manages to outfight a group of burly locals who had spent the entire movie browbeating and emasculating him]].
* DaylightHorror: The cat scene uses its light source very effectively.
* DeathByAdaptation: No one actually dies in the book.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the typical revenge fantasy.
* EnforcedMethodActing: When David first arrives at the local pub, Dustin Hoffman appeared naked in order to get an appropriately shocked reaction from the extras. You can see the local drunk's eyes widen and immediately drop down, presumably to stare at Hoffman's bare crotch. This is justified in the follow-up shot of David, which pans up from his shoes.
* TheHyena: Cawsey the rat catcher. It's easier to count the number of times he ''doesn't'' giggle.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: More or less David's stance on the vigilantes' rough treatment of Henry Niles, who is suspected of foul play. David doesn't realize it, but his also applies to his own murder of them.
* JerkAss: One way of interpreting the film is that masculinity is essentially a form of being a Jerk Ass: asserting your dominance over your territory and woman through violence.
* ProtectThisHouse: The finale.
* PsychopathicManchild: Cawsey. He finds just about everything funny, and spends much of TheSiege being equally clownish and menacing. He also takes great pleasure in his job as an exterminator and briefly has a rather morbid conversation with David about killing rats.
* RapeAsDrama: Poor Amy
* ARealManIsAKiller: A common interpretation of the film is that David is engaging in an alpha male struggle over his territory with the locals. He spends most of the film allowing them to invade his home and rape his wife until the end, when [[spoiler: he finally asserts his right to his territory and woman by killing off all the rivals. In the process, he finally gets his wife to obey him. However, many critics also see it as a deconstruction of this trope, as the men's behavior ultimately leaves a house full of corpses and continued estrangement between husband and wife.]]
-->'''Henry''': I don't know how to get home.\\
'''David''': That's okay. Neither do I.
* SacredHospitality: David fights to protect a man staying in his home from vigilantism, even though he knows the man is probably a murderer. The locals abuse their privileges as guests, stealing his possessions and forcing themselves on his wife.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Deconstructed. David and Amy's relationship is complex, with scenes of playful flirtation intermingled with scenes of obvious dysfunction.
* TheSiege: The book upon which the film was based is called ''The Siege of Trencher's Farm.'' David is ultimately moved to action when he decides to protect his home from invasion.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: David Warner?!
* SerialKiller: Niles in the novel.
* TheSoCalledCoward: David spends most of the film allowing the local workers to walk all over him, and quarrels constantly with his wife. When the locals try to rough up a guest in his house however, [[spoiler: he finally stands up to them and to his wife, who had openly called him a coward for not standing up to them earlier.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: During the finale, David takes levels in BadAss and JerkAss, essentially asserting his alpha male status of the household.
* TranquilFury: Throughout the climax, David stays level-headed and icy cold.
* WordSaladTitle: The film was originally to be called ''The Siege of Trencher's Farm'', a bland and overly descriptive title, so director Peckinpah created an informal contest for a new name. A friend suggested ''Straw Dogs'', referring to the Chinese tradition of creating animal figures out of straw as religious offerings. Straw dogs were given special treatment during religious ceremonies, then discarded with the rest of the trash, mirroring the impartiality of the universe. However, even the producer of the film admitted that the term means nothing in the context of the plot.
* VideoNasties: The film was never included in the official "video nasty" list, but was refused certification for home video release in the 1980s, and not allowed to be released until 2002. It was reported that part of the problem was that the cut versions originally submitted for video release had cut the pivotal rape scene in such a way that it implied that Amy entirely enjoyed the rapes, whereas the full-length version made it clear that she didn't.

to:

[[quoteright:325:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Straw_dogs_movie_poster_7935.jpg]]

->''"All right. You've had your fun. And if you don't clear out now... there'll be real trouble. I mean it."''
-->-- '''David Sumner'''

''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves may refer to:

* ''Film/StrawDogs1971''
* ''Film/StrawDogs2011''

If an internal link led you here, please correct it to point
to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action. When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.

A [[Film/StrawDogs2011 2011 remake starring James Marsden and Kate Bosworth]] has been released. Please put tropes regarding that film [[Film/StrawDogs2011 here]].

----
!!''Straw Dogs'' contains examples of:

* AntiHero: Taken as a whole, the film is a chronicle of David's transformation from a ClassicalAntiHero into either an UnscrupulousHero or a NominalHero. This change is not presented as a good thing.
* BadassBookworm: David.
* BerserkButton: David finally snaps when the local toughs try to [[spoiler:invade his home and drag out a man for some vigilante justice]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: David is acquiescent and does not protest his poor treatment at the hands of the locals, but then flips to gruesome killer when they try to invade his home and kill everyone inside.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: None of the main characters are without serious flaws, and no one seems to be totally in the right.
** The vigilantes [[spoiler: are composed of violent drunks, murderers, and rapists. The man they're after really ''is'' a murderer and a continuing danger to the public, but he's also clearly mentally handicapped and unable to entirely grasp the consequences of his actions.]]
** Amy's old flame Charlie [[spoiler: forces himself on her, but she eventually welcomes his embrace. Minutes later, he helps another man rape her, though he does so somewhat unwillingly. Later, he rescues Amy from the same man.]]
** David himself [[spoiler: seems to be a distant husband, but his wife also seems to be quite needy. He takes a passive-aggressive approach to confrontations with his wife and the local toughs. When he does take a stand, it's to defend a murderer. In the end, he roughs up his wife in a manner reminiscent of her rape and he attacks Charlie even though the man had just defended his wife from a rapist, and kills him against her pleas.]]
* BlownAcrossTheRoom
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:The cornish game hen trap]].
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: David, who [[spoiler:manages to outfight a group of burly locals who had spent the entire movie browbeating and emasculating him]].
* DaylightHorror: The cat scene uses its light source very effectively.
* DeathByAdaptation: No one actually dies in the book.
* {{Deconstruction}}: Of the typical revenge fantasy.
* EnforcedMethodActing: When David first arrives at the local pub, Dustin Hoffman appeared naked in order to get an appropriately shocked reaction from the extras. You can see the local drunk's eyes widen and immediately drop down, presumably to stare at Hoffman's bare crotch. This is justified in the follow-up shot of David, which pans up from his shoes.
* TheHyena: Cawsey the rat catcher. It's easier to count the number of times he ''doesn't'' giggle.
* IfYouKillHimYouWillBeJustLikeHim: More or less David's stance on the vigilantes' rough treatment of Henry Niles, who is suspected of foul play. David doesn't realize it, but his also applies to his own murder of them.
* JerkAss: One way of interpreting the film is that masculinity is essentially a form of being a Jerk Ass: asserting your dominance over your territory and woman through violence.
* ProtectThisHouse: The finale.
* PsychopathicManchild: Cawsey. He finds just about everything funny, and spends much of TheSiege being equally clownish and menacing. He also takes great pleasure in his job as an exterminator and briefly has a rather morbid conversation with David about killing rats.
* RapeAsDrama: Poor Amy
* ARealManIsAKiller: A common interpretation of the film is that David is engaging in an alpha male struggle over his territory with the locals. He spends most of the film allowing them to invade his home and rape his wife until the end, when [[spoiler: he finally asserts his
right to his territory and woman by killing off all the rivals. In the process, he finally gets his wife to obey him. However, many critics also see it as a deconstruction of this trope, as the men's behavior ultimately leaves a house full of corpses and continued estrangement between husband and wife.]]
-->'''Henry''': I don't know how to get home.\\
'''David''': That's okay. Neither do I.
* SacredHospitality: David fights to protect a man staying in his home from vigilantism, even though he knows the man is probably a murderer. The locals abuse their privileges as guests, stealing his possessions and forcing themselves on his wife.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Deconstructed. David and Amy's relationship is complex, with scenes of playful flirtation intermingled with scenes of obvious dysfunction.
* TheSiege: The book upon which the film was based is called ''The Siege of Trencher's Farm.'' David is ultimately moved to action when he decides to protect his home from invasion.
* SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer: David Warner?!
* SerialKiller: Niles in the novel.
* TheSoCalledCoward: David spends most of the film allowing the local workers to walk all over him, and quarrels constantly with his wife. When the locals try to rough up a guest in his house however, [[spoiler: he finally stands up to them and to his wife, who had openly called him a coward for not standing up to them earlier.]]
* TookALevelInBadass: During the finale, David takes levels in BadAss and JerkAss, essentially asserting his alpha male status of the household.
* TranquilFury: Throughout the climax, David stays level-headed and icy cold.
* WordSaladTitle: The film was originally to be called ''The Siege of Trencher's Farm'', a bland and overly descriptive title, so director Peckinpah created an informal contest for a new name. A friend suggested ''Straw Dogs'', referring to the Chinese tradition of creating animal figures out of straw as religious offerings. Straw dogs were given special treatment during religious ceremonies, then discarded with the rest of the trash, mirroring the impartiality of the universe. However, even the producer of the film admitted that the term means nothing in the context of the plot.
* VideoNasties: The film was never included in the official "video nasty" list, but was refused certification for home video release in the 1980s, and not allowed to be released until 2002. It was reported that part of the problem was that the cut versions originally submitted for video release had cut the pivotal rape scene in such a way that it implied that Amy entirely enjoyed the rapes, whereas the full-length version made it clear that she didn't.
page.
12th Nov '14 8:06:20 AM CaptainCrawdad
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''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action (unfortunately this results in Amy herself being raped in the most brutal, painful and humiliating fashion imaginable and she is nearly completely destroyed by it). When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.

to:

''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action (unfortunately this results in Amy herself being raped in the most brutal, painful and humiliating fashion imaginable and she is nearly completely destroyed by it).action. When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.
11th Nov '14 6:55:27 PM WJTaylor4
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''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action (unfortunately this results to Amy herself being raped in the most brutal, painful and humiliating fashion imaginable and she is nearly completely destroyed by it). When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.

to:

''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action (unfortunately this results to in Amy herself being raped in the most brutal, painful and humiliating fashion imaginable and she is nearly completely destroyed by it). When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.
11th Nov '14 6:54:46 PM WJTaylor4
Is there an issue? Send a Message


''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action. When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.

to:

''Straw Dogs'' is a controversial 1971 film directed by Creator/SamPeckinpah. The film stars DustinHoffman as American professor David Sumner, who moves to the small English village where his wife, Amy, grew up. Working on a book, David withdraws into his study for hours at a time while his bored and idle wife begs for his attention. Meanwhile, a group of blue-collar locals, one of them his wife's old flame, provide a constant threat to his manliness as they leer at his wife and mock him behind his back. As the workers become more invasive and threatening, Amy criticizes David for not confronting them and flaunts herself hoping to provoke her husband to action.action (unfortunately this results to Amy herself being raped in the most brutal, painful and humiliating fashion imaginable and she is nearly completely destroyed by it). When finally pushed too far, David stands up for himself in a shocking and violent finale.
24th Sep '13 9:33:39 AM LondonKdS
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* VideoNasties: The film came out well before the 1980s "video nasty" storm, but was also intensely controversial in the UK for its sex, violence and sexual violence. Like many of the video nasties, it has been released in many different versions for home video, with various levels of cutting depending on the climate at the time.

to:

* VideoNasties: The film came out well before was never included in the 1980s official "video nasty" storm, list, but was also intensely controversial refused certification for home video release in the UK for its sex, violence 1980s, and sexual violence. Like many of the video nasties, it has been not allowed to be released in many different until 2002. It was reported that part of the problem was that the cut versions originally submitted for home video, with various levels of cutting depending on video release had cut the climate at pivotal rape scene in such a way that it implied that Amy entirely enjoyed the time.
rapes, whereas the full-length version made it clear that she didn't.
24th Sep '13 9:30:01 AM LondonKdS
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* VideoNasties: The original wasn't officially deemed a video nasty, but was often treated like one regardless.

to:

* VideoNasties: The original wasn't officially deemed a video nasty, film came out well before the 1980s "video nasty" storm, but was often treated like one regardless.
also intensely controversial in the UK for its sex, violence and sexual violence. Like many of the video nasties, it has been released in many different versions for home video, with various levels of cutting depending on the climate at the time.
15th Sep '13 7:18:34 PM ShiroAkuma
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* VideoNasty: The original wasn't officially deemed a video nasty, but was often treated like one regardless.

to:

* VideoNasty: VideoNasties: The original wasn't officially deemed a video nasty, but was often treated like one regardless.
1st Aug '13 11:05:10 AM Farnham
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* BewareTheNiceOnes: David is acquiescent and does not protest his poor treatment at the hands of the locals, but then flips to gruesome killer when they try to invade his home.

to:

* BewareTheNiceOnes: David is acquiescent and does not protest his poor treatment at the hands of the locals, but then flips to gruesome killer when they try to invade his home.home and kill everyone inside.
29th Jul '13 7:50:41 AM Morgenthaler
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[[quoteright:360:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Straw_dogs_movie_poster_7935.jpg]]

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[[quoteright:360:http://static.[[quoteright:325:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Straw_dogs_movie_poster_7935.jpg]]



-->--'''David Sumner'''

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-->--'''David -->-- '''David Sumner'''


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