From: Dave (
Date: 27 Jun 2003

"Straw Dogs" is one of my favorites, and while the rape scene is brutal and tough to watch, I felt it fit in the story. Hoffman's motivation isn't to necessarily defend his wife, but at first because he's reached his limit, and then later for survival. And the fact that he feels betrayed by his wife and can't trust her also fits the story. And as far as Kevin's comment about this movie being unavailable in Britain until recently sounds like pure hypocrisy - I'm sure far worse has been shown over the years there. If you're going to discredit a movie or book because it's been banned somewhere, than you're going to have to include
"Paths of Glory" (banned for years in France) and "Solomon's Vineyard"
(banned in US for a number of years) and a large number of other great works.

Another Dustim Hoffman movie that I like quite a bit is "Straight Time". This one has Hoffman as a parolee who's trying to go straight but has too many obstacles thrown in his path. A very powerful, brutal movie.


-----Original Message----- From: [mailto:] On Behalf Of Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2003 10:25 PM To: Subject: RARA-AVIS: RARA AVIS: Re: Straw Dogs

Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a new member to the group
(longtime lurker, though), which I came across in my search for info on Charles Williams; I thought I was the only person left who knew who he was! It's great to know that there are other people who keep interest in cult novels. Anyway, I was a bit disappointed with the adaption of The Siege of Trencher's Farm (which was by Gordon Williams, you had it right) into Straw Dogs; I feel that Sam Peckinpah's inclusion of the rape scene screwed it up bigtime. One of the points was that, with his home and family threatened, the coward main character would finally break down and become a killer. But by Peckinpah changing the wife from just a bitch, as she was in "Farm," to a slut of sorts as portrayed in the movie, he altered that point; Hoffman's character loses motivation there. Why would he defend his wife when, moments before, she was parading around naked for the attacking mob to gawk at? Also, the rape itself brings up warped conotations, in that the wife character appears to give herself over to her attacker because he used to be her boyfriend and she isn't getting the necessary violent sex from wimp Hoffman. Susan George was adament about not doing the scene, but was more or less contractually forced!
 into by Peckinpah, who insisted it go on; if her word is to be trusted, he lay on the floor beside the soundstage while directing the scene and mocked being anally insulted; his interpretation, apparently, was that she was enjoying being raped.

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