Straw Dogs (1971)

Straw Dogs poster

ABC Pictures
Starring:
 Dustin Hoffman, Susan George
Directed by: Sam Peckinpah

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: American mathematician David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and his English wife Amy (Susan George) find their time in a cottage in the English countryside disrupted by violence from the locals.

Featured Feline: Amy has a tortoiseshell cat she calls Kitty. Through much of the early part of the film she is looking for the cat, calling its name. Kitty doesn’t show up until a ways into the movie when David goes into the kitchen to deposit some dishes. Kitty is sitting on the table.

Straw Dogs - David Dustin Hoffman in kitchen with tortoiseshell cat Kitty on table

Straw Dogs - David Dustin Hoffman in kitchen with tortoiseshell cat Kitty on table

Kitty Carnage Warning!  While the violence gets worse later on, David picks up some tomatoes from a bowl and tosses them at the cat, actually hitting the animal at one point and making her bolt. He also throws grapefruit and the cat screeches but this is seen off screen and the screeches were probably dubbed in.

Straw Dogs - David Dustin Hoffman in kitchen with tortoiseshell cat Kitty on table

Straw Dogs - David Dustin Hoffman in kitchen tossing tomato at tortoiseshell cat Kitty on table

Straw Dogs - David Dustin Hoffman in kitchen hitting tortoiseshell cat Kitty on table with tomato

David goes to the bedroom and Kitty is shown entering and crawling into a basket in the wardrobe. She is seen sitting there several times as David gets ready for bed.

Straw Dogs - tortoiseshell cat Kitty entering bedroom

Straw Dogs - tortoiseshell cat Kitty approaching wardrobe

Straw Dogs - tortoiseshell cat Kitty in basket in wardrobe

Straw Dogs - tortoiseshell cat Kitty in basket in wardrobe

Straw Dogs - tortoiseshell cat Kitty in basket in wardrobe

The Real Kitty Carnage Warning!  Some time later David and Amy are preparing for bed when David opens the wardrobe door and pulls on the light chain, only to find Kitty has been strangled and left hanging from said chain. He closes the door and walks away. Upon seeing his reaction, Amy looks in the wardrobe and screams. What’s particularly unnerving about this scene is it appears a real cat was used. It’s possible the cat was drugged and appears to hang in a way that may not have been fatal, but it is still a distressing scene to view.

Straw Dogs - Amy Susan George screaming upon finding tortoiseshell cat Kitty hanging in wardrobe

Final Mewsings: Don’t throw tomatoes at a tortie!


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