Directed by Sam Peckinpah

U.K. 1971

'A young American mathematician, David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman), and his English wife, Amy (Susan George), move to a Cornish village, seeking the quiet life. But beneath the seemingly peaceful isolation of the pastoral village lies a savagery and violence that threatens to destroy the couple, culminating in a brutal test of Sumner’s manhood and a bloody battle to the death. One of the most controversial films ever made, Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs is a harrowing and masterful investigation of masculinity and the nature of violence.'

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release Date: December 29, 1971

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DVD Comparison:

MGM - Region 1- NTSC vs. FreMantle - Region 0 - PAL vs. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Criterion (OOP) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Ole of DVDBasen for the FreeMantle and Anchor Bay Screen Caps!

(MGM - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - 2nd -. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd -. Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

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Distribution

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

FreMantle Home Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Anchor Bay

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection
Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:57:20 1:52:45 (4% PAL Speedup) 1:57:19 1:57:44
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.89 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.74mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

Average Bitrate:4.87 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.67 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

MGM

 

Bitrate:

Freemantle

 

Bitrate:

Anchor Bay

Bitrate:

Criterion

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo) English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)

Subtitles English, French, Spanish, None None None English, (removable)
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2004
Keep case
Chapter stops: 20

Release Information:
Studio: FreMantle Home Entertainment


Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1


Edition Details:

On location documentary (7:43)2 Audio Commentaries:
1) Garner Simmons, David Weddle & Paul Seydor.
2) Katy Haber
Interviews:
1) Susan George (24:18)
2)Dan Melnick (20:18)
3) Garner Simmons (22:26)
Isolated stereo Jerry Fielding score with additinal cues
US theatrical trailer WS N.A.(1:41)
3 US TV spots (1:00 , 0:30, 0:10)
2 US radio spots (1:00 , 0:30)
On location stills, publicity stills, posters and lobby cards
Text: History about censors, reviews, filmographies, film facts, letters/correspondence.

 

DVD Release Date: Oct. 7th, 2002
Keep Case

Chapters 15


 

Release Information:
Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterbox - 1.78:1


Edition Details:
• Widescreen letterbox format

DVD Release Date: Jan 19th, 1999

Keep Case

Chapters 13

Release Information:
Studio: Home Vision Entertainment / Criterion

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by film scholar Stephen Prince
• Theatrical trailer, TV spot(s)
• New high-definition digital transfer of the uncut version
• Isolated music and effects track
• "Sam Peckinpah: Man of Iron": documentary of reflections by members of Peckinpah's family, his friends, and his collaborators (82 min.)
• Dustin Hoffman on the set of Straw Dogs (26 min.)
• Behind-the-scenes footage
• Video interviews with actress Susan George and producer Daniel Melnick
• Peckinpah Responds: select correspondence to critics and viewers
• Reprinted 1974 interview with Peckinpah
• Essay by poet Joshua Clove
• Widescreen anamorphic format

DVD Release Date: March 25th, 2003
Keep case
Chapter stops: 24

 

Comments:
ADDITION - MGM (Oct. 2004) - Advertised as the "extended version" of the film - but frankly I don't see it and the time codes tend to confirm it. I guess they mean the "uncut" version that Criterion talks about. The scene in question (as anyone who has watched the film may know - Susan George's character 'Amy' is raped) seems the same to me. The video quality seems a duplicate of the Criterion as far as I can tell (perhaps Criterion sold them their transfer?). There are no extras though, but they offer some additional subtitle options. For those that only want the film (and the price is right), this looks like the best option, but I am hanging onto my Criterion.


*****

On initial viewing the Anchor Bay Region 1 shows itself very well in the image department, but I do see shade of contrast boosting. The Criterion, on the other hand is as close to perfection as you can get. I don't know what the problem with the recent FreMantle PAL release is, but the image is quite hazy. The Extras on the Fremantle are well done, but you are talking another step-up for the Criterion, who obviously take their jobs incredibly seriously with a whole 2nd disc of Extras. Because it is a shade darker the Criterion appears to lose the sharpness battle to Anchor Bay, but in fact it does not. You can see some nice film grain in the Criterion. If you are not concerned with the massive extras that the Criterion gives you (and you want to save a penny or two) or you are not bothered by the lack of anamorphic-ism get the Anchor Bay while it is still out there. Film buffs with widescreen TV's will, of course, want the Criterion.               

 - Gary W. Tooze

 




DVD Menus

(MGM - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT )


 

(Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - LEFT -. Criterion - Region 0 - NTSC - RIGHT)

 

 NONE

 


Screen Captures

 

(MGM - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - 2nd -. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd -. Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)



(MGM - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - 2nd -. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd -. Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(MGM - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - 2nd -. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd -. Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


(MGM - Region 1- NTSC TOP vs. FreMantle Home Entertainment - Region 0 - PAL - 2nd -. Anchor Bay - Region 1 - NTSC - 3rd -. Criterion Region 0 - NTSC - BOTTOM)


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Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion / MGM tie

Sound:

-

Extras: Criterion
Menu: Criterion
DVD Box Covers

Distribution

MGM

Region 1  - NTSC

FreMantle Home Entertainment

Region 0  - PAL

Anchor Bay

Region 1  - NTSC

Criterion Collection
Region 1 - NTSC

 



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Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA