Deliverance

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Overview

Adapted from James Dickey's popular novel, John Boorman's 1972 movie recounts the grueling psychological and physical journey taken by four city slickers down a river in the backwoods of Georgia. At the behest of Iron John-esque Lewis Burt Reynolds, the less adventuresome Ed Jon Voight, Bobby Ned Beatty, and Drew Ronny Cox agree to canoe down an uncharted section of the river before a dam project ruins the region. After warnings from the grimy, impoverished locals, and Drew's tuneful yet ominous "Dueling Banjos" ...
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Overview

Adapted from James Dickey's popular novel, John Boorman's 1972 movie recounts the grueling psychological and physical journey taken by four city slickers down a river in the backwoods of Georgia. At the behest of Iron John-esque Lewis Burt Reynolds, the less adventuresome Ed Jon Voight, Bobby Ned Beatty, and Drew Ronny Cox agree to canoe down an uncharted section of the river before a dam project ruins the region. After warnings from the grimy, impoverished locals, and Drew's tuneful yet ominous "Dueling Banjos" encounter with a mute inbred boy, the four men embark on their trip, exulting in the beauty of nature and the initial thrill of the rapids. The next day, however, things begin to take a turn for the worse when Bobby and Ed decide to rest on shore after becoming separated from Lewis and Drew. Two rifle-wielding mountain men Bill McKinney and Herbert "Cowboy" Coward emerge from the woods, tying up Ed while one of them rapes Bobby and makes him "squeal like a pig." Lewis and Drew rescue them, but the attack irrevocably changes the tenor of the journey. As the river gets rougher and rougher, the men come to nightmarish grips with what it means to survive outside the safety net of "civilization."
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
It's too bad that this film has become better known for one disturbing scene of man-to-man sexual violence than as a whole film, because Deliverance is one of the best stories about men pushed to their physical and emotional limits ever put onscreen. The movie has great action, drama, and suspense in a fascinating backwoods setting that enhances all three. Moreover, its Heart of Darkness-like storyline engages big questions of civilization versus instinct and morality versus necessity. Deliverance is directed with tense precision by John Boorman from a strong screenplay by James Dickey, who had authored the popular book of the same title. Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography is brilliant throughout. He beautifully captures the awe and power of the wilderness and expresses visually what the unfortunate canoeists come to learn: that nature, like the folks who inhabit it, can easily shift from serene to sinister. This was Burt Reynolds' breakthrough performance, and it's a showcase for his disarming charm and physical presence. Also impressive in their major film debuts are the two meeker members of the group, the ill-fated Ronny Cox and the nearly-as-ill-fated Ned Beatty. Jon Voight, then the only established star of the bunch, doesn't disappoint, and, through his subtly expressive face, we see how psychologically wounded the men are by their experience. But the real stars, arguably, are the hillbillies, who are frighteningly believable to say the least. Banjo-boy Billy Redden endured two hours of makeup for his cosmetic inbreeding, and while he may not be a household name, his is easily one of the 1970s' most memorable, if brief, cinematic appearances. Just be warned: you'll never listen to a banjo the same way again.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/16/1997
  • UPC: 085391544432
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Presentation: Remastered
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jon Voight Ed Gentry
Burt Reynolds Lewis Medlock
Ned Beatty Bobby Trippe
Ronny Cox Drew Ballinger
Bill McKinney Mountain Man
James Dickey Sheriff
Belinda Beatty Martha Gentry
Charley Boorman Ed's Boy
Herbert Coward Toothless Man
Lewis Crone First Deputy
Randall Deal Second Griner
John Fowler Doctor
Seamon Glass First Griner
Ken Keener Second Deputy
Macon McCalman Deputy Queen
Ed O'Neill Highway Patrolman (uncredited)
Johnny Popwell Sr. Ambulance Driver
Ed Ramey Old Man
Billy Redden Lonny, the Banjo Player
Technical Credits
John Boorman Director, Producer
Bill Butler Camera Operator
James Dickey Screenwriter
Dale Dye Screenwriter
Walter Goss Sound/Sound Designer
Michael Hancock Makeup
Fred Harpman Art Director
Al Jennings Asst. Director
Steve Mandel Songwriter
Louis Mann Production Designer
John Mansbridge Production Designer
Tom Priestley Editor
Bucky Rous Costumes/Costume Designer
Doug Turner Sound/Sound Designer
Marcel Vercoutere Special Effects
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I foolishly took my pregnant wife to this, based on the poster l

    I foolishly took my pregnant wife to this, based on the poster looking
    like a Disney travelogue. She has never forgiven me for that trauma.
    We came out of the theater in a state like after JAWS: never going near
    the water again, backwoods river or deep blue sea.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Puts a new spin on vacation

    A fitting movie for the savage era of violence in Vietnam and the deepening cynicism of Nixon's White House. This is like the Heart of Darkness transplanted into Appalachia Georgia. Four city professionals are supposed to enjoy a nice casual vacation, but the locals have other ideas. The rape scene was barbaric, even by today's standards. A haunting look into the real meaning of man when confronted by evil circumstances. Unfortunately, when encountered by such a predicament, all men would react in the same vein. James Dickey hits to the heart of the savagery that lies in every human heart. A great movie in tanden with Peckinpah's Straw Dogs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Classic Movie

    The BluRay DVD is great for the beauty of the scenery. Of course, the story line has not changed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    chrisforever

    excellent movie that i had not seen in ages thank god for barnes and noble!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    GOOD MOVIE

    It's a good movie. Buy it! it's cheap!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Classic for any DVD Library....

    This is a great movie. Many people remember it only for the sodomey scene but it is so much more. The filming and acting are fantastic. The banjo scene in the beginning turned that song into a classic and the inbread mutants are nothing less than terrifying. It really makes you want to go 'out of state to find your next date.' And of course the classic line 'squeel like a pig' will go down in history as one of those lines that define a movie.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2003

    The River

    It's called the Cahulawassee, and it's fictional. The Chattooga River in Georgia was the filmimg location.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Confused about location of movie

    I watched the movie years ago and thought it was great. But the river is called the Chattooga (not Chatoga) and isn't that in South Carolina? Anyway, it's a great movie, you can't help but be a little squeemish about it, but it's a true classic!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews