Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. United Kingdom/USA, 1971. ABC Pictures, Talent Associates, Amerbroco. Screenplay by Sam Peckinpah, based on the novel The Siege Of Trencher’s Farm by Cinematography by Produced by Daniel Melnick. Music by Jerry Fielding. Production Design by Ray Simm. Costume Design by Tiny Nicholls. Film Editing by Paul Davies, Tony Lawson, Roger Spottiswoode.
Dustin Hoffman and his British wife (Susan George) move to a small English town for him to work on his mathematical studies while on sabbatical. The locals respond with a cold reception followed by some rough harassment from some very tough guys who think Hoffman a weakling and an unwelcome foreigner. Hoffman tries to stay out of it, but the level of violence that comes his way gets to be so strong that he has no choice but to eventually retaliate in full force. This exceptional work by Sam Peckinpah starts off subtle and unassuming, eventually working its way up to a fever pitch with violent action that is still shocking today. By taking on issues of male ego and class consciousness, it also shows a lot of character depth that is missing in many of the films of this genre made more recently. A very startling film, and a very satisfying one.
The Criterion Collection: #182
Academy Award Nomination: Best Original Dramatic Score