LONDON — Sam Peckinpah’s classic “Straw Dogs,” which includes a controversial rape scene, has finally been passed uncut for video release in the U.K., 30 years after its theatrical release.
The 1971 film, starring Dustin Hoffman and Susan George, was denied a video release in 1999 when its British distributor refused to make further cuts to the already edited rape scene in the U.S. version of the pic submitted.
This time, the British Board of Film Classification determined that the original, full-length version of the rape scene was acceptable.
The BBFC said: “The pre-cut American version deleted most of the second rape in which (George’s character) Amy is clearly demonstrated not to enjoy the act of violation. The cuts made for American distribution, which were made to reduce the duration of the sequence, tended paradoxically to compound the difficulty with the first rape, leaving the audience with the impression that Amy enjoyed the experience.
“The ambiguity of the first rape is given context by the second rape, which now makes it quite clear that sexual assault is not something that Amy ultimately welcomes,” the board concluded. The full-length version of “Straw Dogs” is already available on video in the U.S.