Director Sam Peckinpah indulges himself in an orgy of unparalleled violence and nastiness with undertones of sexual repression in this production.
Dustin Hoffman appears as a quiet American mathematician who has married a lively, sexy English girl, played by Susan George, and goes to live on her isolated West Country farm. They get on reasonably well with a moronic assortment of locals, most of whom are heavy drinkers. Some are sexually repressed and the wife is seduced while her husband is hunting.
When the village dolt accidentally kills a teenage mini-skirted flirt he takes refuge at the farm. Hoffman refuses to give him to the enflamed villagers. Count is lost of the gruesome killings and bestialities that ensue.
The script [from Gordon M. Williams’ novel The Siege of Trencher’s Farm]relies on shock and violence to tide it over weakness in development, shallow characterization and lack of motivation. Hoffman scores as the easy-going American who rises to heights of belligerence when he considers the dolt is being wronged.
1971: Nomination: Best Original Score