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 Post subject: 182 Straw Dogs
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:41 pm 

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Straw Dogs

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In this thriller, arguably Sam Peckinpah's most controversial film, David (Dustin Hoffman), a young American mathematician, moves with his English wife, Amy (Susan George), to the village where she grew up. Their sense of safety unravels as the local men David has hired to repair their house prove more interested in leering at Amy and intimidating David, beginning an agonizing initiation into the iron laws of violent masculinity that govern Peckinpah's world. Working outside the U.S. for the first time, the filmmaker airlifts the ruthlessness of the western frontier into Cornwall in Straw Dogs, pushing his characters to their breaking points as the men brutalize Amy and David discovers how far he'll go to protect his home—culminating in a harrowing climax that lays out this cinematic mastermind's eloquent and bloody vision of humanity.

SPECIAL FEATURES

• New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
• Audio commentary from 2003 by Stephen Prince, author of Savage Cinema: Sam Peckinpah and the Rise of Ultraviolent Movies
Mantrap: "Straw Dogs"—The Final Cut, a 2003 documentary about the making of the film, featuring cast and crew
Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron, a 1993 documentary about the director featuring actors Kris Kristofferson, Jason Robards, Ali MacGraw, and many others
• New conversation between film critic Michael Sragow and filmmaker Roger Spottiswoode, who worked as one of the editors on the film
• New interview with film scholar Linda Williams about the controversies surrounding the film
• Archival interviews with actor Susan George, producer Daniel Melnick, and Peckinpah biographer Garner Simmons
• Behind-the-scenes footage
• TV spots and trailers
• PLUS: An essay by scholar and critic Joshua Clover


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 2:17 pm 
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Curiously, a number of etailers are still showing this in stock:*

CriterionDVD.com
Deep Discount DVD
Overstock.com: $21.99!!
Digital Eyes

The Criterion website continues to list it as OOP (as of 12/31/03).

Are there still a large number of unsold copies available (à la The Unbearable Lightness of Being, which was still easy to find long after it went OOP), or has Criterion somehow regained the rights?

*This issue was first brought up in this thread at the DVD Talk forum.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2004 10:13 pm 
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It's out of print, but not very rare since quite a lot of copies were pressed before 12/31. I'd still snag it if you really want the film. But if you're short on cash, there's always the cheap MGM reissued alternative, with the same transfer, sans the extras.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:04 am 
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Quote:
Man of Iron documentary is one of the best I've ever seen.

I agree completely. To be honest, this is one film that I didn't really appreciate until after I listened to the commentary and watched the docu. The Criterion DVD is very much worth the extra money and I can't image a future issue(from any company) bettering the extras.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2004 4:10 pm 
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mbalson wrote:
Quote:
Man of Iron documentary is one of the best I've ever seen.

I agree completely. To be honest, this is one film that I didn't really appreciate until after I listened to the commentary and watched the docu. The Criterion DVD is very much worth the extra money and I can't image a future issue(from any company) bettering the extras.


Hear, hear! I'm inclined to nominate this as Criterion's best package of extras in terms of providing valuable context for the feature: everything on there improves the experience.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2004 10:43 am 
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Thanks for the heads up FilmFanSea.

I just ordered this at Overstock.com for $18.40. I used this link and got an additional 12% off. It'll only reflect at checkout. Expires 13 Dec.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 12:37 pm 
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This is another nerdy post, but did anyone else notice the (possible) homage to Straw Dogs in Hideo Nakata's 1998 Ring? The changing of a plus to minus on the blackboard is also shown in Nakata's film, where the teacher's girlfriend changes the symbol to a minus just after she meets his ex-wife and the teacher goes off with her, and then the teacher finds out and changes the symbol back to a plus in the lull just before the infamous ending of that film.

Another strange possible homage is in Katsuhiro Otomo's Akira (1988). When Tetsuo and Kaori are being attacked in retribution by the Clown gang early in the film, one of the gang members is wearing a red strap-on nose similar to the one from Straw Dogs (the gang member with the green hair)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2005 1:38 pm 
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On Netflix, they have an image of an earlier edition of the cover under the film. Yet for the bonus features, they are listed as Criterion. So what gives? They are only offering the older DVD ( Anchor BAay) for rental instead of the Criterion edition, yet allowing you to rent the special features on the second disc? Looks the same for Carnival of Souls which is also a two disc set. I am at a loss.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:09 pm 
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I had already thought of that, expecting to be disappointed, which of course I was. They carry the Anchor Bay edition, sans extras. It is available for sale on Amazon.com still, so I think I'll just swipe a copy before they are all gone entirely.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:23 am 
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Benoit wrote:
On Netflix, they have an image of an earlier edition of the cover under the film. Yet for the bonus features, they are listed as Criterion. So what gives? They are only offering the older DVD ( Anchor BAay) for rental instead of the Criterion edition, yet allowing you to rent the special features on the second disc? Looks the same for Carnival of Souls which is also a two disc set. I am at a loss.

We discussed this in the Netflix thread long ago. It is one of the (few) infuriating aspects I've found with their model. Repeated complaints have met zero satisfaction; they purchase the companion discs but do not replace the older crappy film discs, unless the stock dwindles. This was one of the main reasons I checked out Nicheflix, for those few Criterions that could not be had on Netflix. Straw Dogs CC is there, waiting for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 6:56 pm 
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Godot wrote:
Benoit wrote:
On Netflix, they have an image of an earlier edition of the cover under the film. Yet for the bonus features, they are listed as Criterion. So what gives? They are only offering the older DVD ( Anchor BAay) for rental instead of the Criterion edition, yet allowing you to rent the special features on the second disc? Looks the same for Carnival of Souls which is also a two disc set. I am at a loss.

We discussed this in the Netflix thread long ago. It is one of the (few) infuriating aspects I've found with their model. Repeated complaints have met zero satisfaction; they purchase the companion discs but do not replace the older crappy film discs, unless the stock dwindles. This was one of the main reasons I checked out Nicheflix, for those few Criterions that could not be had on Netflix. Straw Dogs CC is there, waiting for you.


I just netflixed Straw Dogs and I recieved the Criterion edition.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 7:56 pm 
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Interesting. I Netflixed it a week ago, and got the Anchor Bay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:27 pm 
Dot Com Dom
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....and remake!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 12:51 pm 
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Yeah I just found this out yesterday. Pretty much sucks. It'll be interesting to see the cast.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:15 pm 
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domino harvey wrote:
....and remake!

[Punches own face several times] #-o


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:56 pm 
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Toddarino wrote:
Yeah I just found this out yesterday. Pretty much sucks. It'll be interesting to see the cast.

Get the same actors! I'd love to see a Dustin, Susan George and David Warner reunion...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:31 pm 
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Wasn't there supposed to be a remake of this already starring Edward Norton? I remember it being mentioned a little while after Criterion released it on DVD, but nothing ever materialized.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 3:00 pm 
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cdnchris wrote:
Wasn't there supposed to be a remake of this already starring Edward Norton?

"I'm gonna teach you a real lesson now, motherfucker. Put your fuckin' mouth on the curb."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:11 pm 
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cdnchris wrote:
Wasn't there supposed to be a remake of this already starring Edward Norton? I remember it being mentioned a little while after Criterion released it on DVD, but nothing ever materialized.

On a Dutch movie site they wrote that they`re gonna be making it this year...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:06 pm 
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I get the feeling that whatever momentary thrill David gets from protecting his home and wife from the intruders is completely undercut by the bleak ending - not just the final shot of David and town paedophile linked together in their isolation from everything but in the fact he most definitely did not defend his wife by losing her through their quarrels so that she never tells him about her rape and even tries to escape him at a couple of points in the siege. The house is not even his, it is Amy's - really the whole film is Amy's as she is left completely destroyed by the man she brought back to her home town to in a way protect her (and maybe show off) to her peers. That is her major mistake, but she does not deserve the fate of being betrayed by everyone and left in the violated shell of both her house and body, as her husband leaves with the child molester that he showed more interest in protecting than his own wife (but which also shows how he is able to stand up for the principles he really cares about).

I get the impression that many people who called the film a facist film at the time willfully overlooked where Peckinpah's true interests lay. Even the final battle is most interesting in the interactions between David and Amy, while the men outside become overgrown destructive, but still dangerous, children and seem to be despatched in an off hand manner to emphasise their lack of importance outside of pushing matters to a head and forcing David and Amy's fighting to a physically rather than psychologically violent end. In that sense the rape is an 'in your face' literalisation of Amy's issues with her husband and previous boyfriend, as blunt and unavoidable in its implications as a Breillat film (yet more believeably integrated into the narrative than coming as a shock from out of left field as occurs in many of her films)! So it takes a great effort for someone to prevent themselves from picking up on these points above and beyond the rape (and leads me to think that many criticised the film without seeing it) - for me, if Amy had told David about the rape and his subsequent fight with Charlie and the rest of the gang was based on that, it could have been much easier to criticise as only being there as a pretext for the violence that occurs at the end.

As it stands in the film, David only finds out late on which inspires the last fight with the man trap, that in itself is superceded by the next fight which forces Amy to pick up a gun and kill the final attacker. The power of the film is that it is not about an issue as simple as a 'man becoming empowered through violence' or a 'woman teasing rapists by not wearing a bra and then seemingly enjoying her violation' - it knows that these kinds of statements are insulting reductions of the way people react to violent, sudden, complex events.

The 2002 Channel 4 documentary Mantrap about the film is up on YouTube. The one area the documentary falls down on ironically is discussion of the rape scene which takes the usual "first rape good, second rape bad" approach, but as one of the people on the commentary tracks for the DVD said (I can't remember if it was Stephen Prince on the Criterion or the Peckinpah scholars on the Freemantle disc) just because the first rape is a more complex experience for Amy, it doesn't make it any less of a violation.

Dustin Hoffman also gets a great last word in the documentary, suggesting that all Peckinpah really needed was a big hug!


Last edited by colinr0380 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:39 pm 
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I just watched this for the first time. Woah. I needed a big glass of water after those last 40 minutes. I truly was on the edge of my seat. I'm now going to be looking for a sealed copy of this one, it will be my first OOP Criterion purchase. I rented it when everyone talked about how good the commentary track was on the 10th Anniversary Voting Thread. I'll be checking out that commentary shortly.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:21 am 
Dot Com Dom
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teddyleevin wrote:
I'll be checking out that commentary shortly.

Get ready to have your mind fucking blown


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:25 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
teddyleevin wrote:
I'll be checking out that commentary shortly.

Get ready to have your mind fucking blown

C'mon. It's not that great. I fine Prince's insistence that Peckinpah isn't misogynistic very problematic, for one.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:29 am 
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domino harvey wrote:
Get ready to have your mind fucking blown

That's two sex acts for the price of one commentary. No wonder this scored high!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:15 am 
Dot Com Dom
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denti alligator wrote:
domino harvey wrote:
teddyleevin wrote:
I'll be checking out that commentary shortly.

Get ready to have your mind fucking blown

C'mon. It's not that great. I fine Prince's insistence that Peckinpah isn't misogynistic very problematic, for one.

Can you name any other commentary that so radically redefines the film under discussion? Like any interpretation, the question isn't whether you sign off on the thesis or not, but he absolutely makes a compelling case and backs up his claims with textual evidence.


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