American mathematician Dustin Hoffman has moved to the English home town of his wifeSusan George. The adjustment is difficult. A gang of local louts is taking forever to assemblehis garage, and he simply cannot stand up for himself or his wife. She, filled with contempt,teases the locals with predictable results. Finally, a crisis looms involving the simple-mindedDavid Warner, and Hoffman takes a spectacularly violent stand.
Peckinpah’s gift for cinematic violence i… in fine form here. The siege of Hoffman’s form isone of the great set-pieces of brutal suspense, and is one of the two main reasons why the filmis so well remembered, and the subject of much continuing discussion. The other reason is theportrayal of female characters, in particular the Susan George. George turns in fine work, but hercharacter is presented in terms so unforgiving and contemptuous that “misogynist” doesn’t evenbegin to cover it. This is not a reason to avoid the film, however. It is an important work, asmuch for its problems as for its virtues. This version runs about five minutes longer the earlierUS theatrical release, but is the same length as most home video versions from the past tenyears.
The mono is fine, and this is a very quiet film except for the explosive ending, and so stereoisn’t missed. There is occasionally a little bit of buzz on the dialogue, but generally speaking thetrack gets the job done.
The print is in very good shape, with no speckling, and grain visible in only one or two shots.The image is reasonably sharp (especially given the vintage of the film). The colours and blacksare both very good, and there is no visible edge enhancement. The aspect ratio is the original1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen.
A great, important film, one that deserves a release that engages with it and its ideas. Thisbare-bones disc is great for the budget, but the movie should have something better.