Deliverance
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  • "Then you live with it..."
    I borrowed that title from "High Plains Drifter" but it applies to this situation as well. "What about after?" "Then you live with it." These men were pushed into one situation by Louis, who intended to open their eyes to life, they fell into quite another situation, and they ended up with their eyes opened a lot more than they bargained for. There are parallels to the Vietnam experience as far as white bread Americans going to a primitive place where they were unfamiliar and unprepared despite their weapons. In the end, the most innocent among them dies while part of the rest of them dies a little after that weekend. Worst of all, they are alive to relive their experiences every night in their dreams/nightmares.

    Author James Dickey wanted Sam Peckinpah to direct the movie, but Peckinpah had recently burned the bridge between himself and some powerful Hollywood execs following the "Pat Garrett" production. The studio was not about to take a chance on Peckinpah's temperment and substance abuse so the film was assigned to John Boorman. While the film is strong and adventurous, I can only image just how different (better?) it would be with Peckinpah's direction and possibly his additions to the script. Peckinpah's character development was often overlooked and underrated after he went to work on a script. As a Peckinpah fan I can only guess which members of his stock company would have had roles in "Deliverance" had he directed. Warren Oates? John Davis Chandler? L.Q. Jones? R.G. Armstrong?

    One other thing. Unfortunately "Dueling Banjos" has been forever tainted to many casual listeners as an ode to sodomy, but the soundtrack is a very good American bluegrass album on it's own and the energetic music adds a lot to the whitewater scenes. The soundtrack is available on cd and I recommend it to anyone looking for a good bluegrass primer. ...more info
  • True to the Book
    Poet-novelist Jame's Dickey's story of innocence, adventure, and testing are ably portrayed in this movie, with Dickey playing a bit part. The cast is stellar, and the actual Georgia scenery is both beautiful and forbidding as this ill-fated canoe trip degenrates into murder and survival. As with most movies depicting Southern characters, however, the accents leave a lot to be desired, but the movie is as exciting and worthwhile as the book....more info
  • Deliverance; a great "Oldie"
    I should have watched this movie over 30 years ago, but never did. I finally bought it on DVD through Amazon and got to watch it. All I can say is that it is a great movie that kept me awake. Most movies do not keep me awake!

    A real classic at a great value....more info
  • This here river don't go nowhere near ANTRY !!!
    "Deliverance", Rated "R" by the MPAA, Running Time 1hr & 49mn. - Content includes: Adult Situations, Profanity, Male Nudity, Rape and Some Bloody Violence (though not extreme).

    'Deliverance' is a tale about four well-to-do Atlanta business men who decide to go on a weekend long canoe trip. All four men are friends with very different personalities. There's Lewis Medlock (Burt Reynolds) the survivalist and the authoritative leader of the group. Ed Gentry (Jon Voight) is the easy going family man. Bobby Tripp (Ned Beatty) is the sarcastic pampered insurance salesman. Drew Bollinger (Ronny Cox) is the banjo playing voice of reason and moral compass of the bunch.

    The foursome decide to do their extended trip in a very remote part of rural Georgia. This will be the group's only time ever to enjoy the Cahulawassee River. Soon, a local power company will complete a dam for a power generator. It's only a matter of time before the river is gone and the forgotten community of Antry will be replaced by a lake. The town and it's residence will be re-located to higher ground.

    The inhabitance of the rolling hills of the Cahulawassee are poor rural folk who've never seen civilization. They are highly mistrustful of outsiders and just as soon keep to themselves. These people are poverty stricken, have little to no education and many are the products of inbreeding. Truly, the people that time forgot.

    There are subtle signs at the beginning of the expedition that the four river travelers may have been better off staying in Atlanta and playing golf. Nevertheless, they press on to their fateful trip. It starts off fun and adventurous enough. - Then the unthinkable happens. It's one of the most disturbing encounters in modern movies. After that, all bets are off . . .

    'Deliverance' is skillfully directed by John Boorman. He creates wonderful characters, creates a sense of awe, tension and dread. This is a taunt drama about the worst camping nightmare come to life and how to deal with it. Boorman would later go on to direct 'Excalibur' (1981) and 'The Emerald Forest' (1985).

    "Deliverance" is a great sociological commentary on cultural values and differences. It works on a very subtle level with many things to think about.

    By today's standards, the pacing of "Deliverance" may be too slow for some people. I recommend it, but not to those who have the attention span of a flea. ...more info
  • I hear banjos
    This is a frightening drama. It's about physical abuse by ignorant hillbillies.
    Read the book and get a better idea of the other side of southern life.
    read lexingtontruth.com and never move to north carolina. We fondly call it North koreaina.
    Lexington NC would be a place to do a remake of this movie and no actors would be needed.
    Great movie read it and avoid the redneck racist, parts of the perverted south....more info
  • This Ain't Thoreau's Wilderness
    John Boorman directed what's probably one of my all time favorite films of the 60's, and also one of my favorite film noirs: Point Blank. However, his 1972 film, adapted by James Dickey from his own novel, finds the director falling on his face, and the cement upon which his face lands is called the 70's. The film has not aged well with it's themes and questions, philosophies and ideas. It's a draining film, draining in the sense that it's a chore to get through, not because of the content or story. The directing is relatively stale, the acting is hammy (except for in one pivotal moment, which I'll discuss in a bit.), even the cinematography was on par with a Mondo film (some of which are actually superior in that department.)

    The one thing the film is well known for, and this has to be the sole reason why it's usually on so many "disturbing" film lists, is the man on man rape scene. Squeal like a piggy are the immortal words from one Woodsman to the City Boy. There's not much squealing to be heard, nor is there much of anything else to be heard. One would be lead to believe that if a grown man were to be sodomized by another grown man, having never previously engaged in this family orientated activity, would be hollering at least a little bit, but Bob never so much as lets out a few whimpers; simply, not believable. Sorry, folks.

    Words like brutal and unrelenting describe the film in countless reviews; I found it to be neither. It's themes and ideas are fairly cut and paste as well, perhaps if they had been delivered more intelligently they would be rewarding but they simply are not. There is no law, no civility, in the wilderness; the compare and contrast of the beauty of nature to the decay of cities; the fact that horrible acts can still happen in an area of alleged tranquil beauty. They're all timeless themes and discussion starters, but not when they find themselves in the context of this piece of cinema.

    By the end, the men have changed, but I didn't care; they weren't interesting or worth investing myself in either sympathetically or objectively.

    How this film has drawn comparisons to Sam Peckinpah's masterpiece Straw Dogs is beyond me....more info
  • "Burt Reynold's Best Cinema Effort"
    "Deliverence" became a monster hit at the boxoffice when it was released in 1972, and it received four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. The film is about four businessmen who venture into the backwoods on a canoe expedition on the mighty Appalacian River. The men are prepared for the forces of this river, but are totally unprepared for the hell that creeps up on them: they encounter hillbilly type hicks who have no morals and who have no feeling for other human beings. The men go through absolute hell as they try to survive a nightmare they were not ready for. The Ned Beatty character suffers the most as he is raped by one of the neanderthals. "Deliverence" is one of those rare films that dramatizes male rape, a subject matter rarely covered today, and even more rarely covered in 1972.
    Burt Reynold's autobiography "My LIfe" has some interesting anecdotes on the making of the film,, as he covers how he got to do the movie and the troubles the actors faced while filming in dangerous locations.
    This particular DVD is the Deluxe Anniversary Edition that came out in 2007 and is filled with amazing bonus material. There is commentary from director John Boorman, the theatrical trailer is included, a vintage featurette "The Dangerous World of Deliverence" is part of the set, and the crown jewel here is the remarkable documentary on the film, which is a four part retrospective with the film's stars, and the disturbing rape scene is discussed.
    The film also stars Jon Voight and Ronny Cox. Charles Chaplin of the Los Angeles Times calls "Deliverence" "an absolute first-rate piece of moviemaking"....more info
  • Bugger Your Neighbor
    Deliverance, it seems, has indelibly embedded itself in popular consciousness, despite its being nearly as old as me. The banjo-totin' cretin with fingers of fury, Ned Beatty's harrowing porcine approximations, vengeful crackers stalking the woods above the river--these images, enhanced for home audiences by a first-rate digital transfer and crystal-clear audio remix, have aged well--much better, in fact, than Burt Reynolds, one of the film's actors, whom seeing sans hairpiece and porn mustache was uncanny--and have, I think, taken on an added relevance for these times of dire ecological prospects. The impending demise of the town of Aintry, Georgia and the river running through it at the hands of a hydroelectric utility is a harbinger our fate writ small.

    Deliverance is also interesting for being one of a slew of '70s films whose subject matter is those marginal types stalking the hinterlands, and the various perversities around which their aggregate identities are organized. In addition to Deliverance, the ' 70s saw the release of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, and, Friday the 13th. Admittedly, Deliverance distinguishes itself from this company in its thematic content, which aims for psychological and philosophical depth, as opposed to mere exploitation. The existential glosses of Deliverance are nothing short of masterful. The images of dying and death have an agonizing physicality to them, and the dead bodies themselves seem almost to make the screen sag under their insistent corporeality (The actors portraying the two key hicks deserved Oscars for their utterly convincing expirations). Such touches elevate Deliverance above the sensationalism it flirts with.

    Intercalated with the theme of masculine self-actualization, are those of man's collisions with both nature and civilization, either having the power to undo an individual. For the hillbillies, Georgia's hill country is a mis-en-sc¨¨ne of very palpable degeneracy, while for the four vacationers, the city is the same. The gap-toothed menace of the lustful rustics finds its complement in Ned Beatty's flabby lubricity. The city takes what the country makes, and vice versa. This is most clearly seen in the neat narrative symmetry at work between Burt Reynolds and John Voigt's respective characters. Oppositions in this movie are never facile, though, and one is left with the sense that the Weltanschauung expressed in it is one eternal Manichean struggle; civilization consumes nature (the hydroelectric dam destroying the river), and is in turn consumed by nature (this is at work at many levels in the film, but the most striking image is the rising waters around Aintry). Viewing Deliverance again has led me to muse upon the historical and culture dimensions of the '70s, and what anxieties the film and those of its ilk capture....more info
  • Squeal, squeal like a pig.............
    This 1972 movie staring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox was excellent viewing on big screen home tv as it was in the theater. The impact this film has on me is still great. It's a story of 4 men that dare to take a canoe ride down a river in Georgia (because "it's there") and what they encounter along the way. That's briefly as I can give without telling you what exactly happens. But none of them come out the same from the weird experience. It depicts the "genetic deficiencies" of mountain people (or hillbillies, not Beverly Hillbillies). These grotesque people along the river pop out and in one horrific scene, make Ned Beatty "squeal like a pig". The movie is a must see and a must buy for any film buff... ...more info
  • Disturbing 1972 adventure on the Chattooga River
    RELEASE DATE: 1972
    DIRECTOR: John Boorman
    WRITER: James Dickey (novel and screenplay)
    CAST: Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Burt Reynolds and Ronny Cox.
    RUNTIME: 1 hour, 50 minutes.

    PLOT: Four guys from the Atlanta area take a canoe/camping trip in the NE Georgia wilderness. When they run into a couple malevolent hillbillies their fun time turns into a disturbing test of survival.

    I didn't see "Deliverance" until almost two decades after its 1972 release. I didn't know anything about the film or anyone who had seen it, but it looked like a potentially good adventure story so I finally decided to rent it.

    The first Act plays out as you would expect, four guys escaping the shackles of urban life enjoying a canoe trip, and then -- WHAM -- Act 2 hits you like a ton of bricks. When I first viewed the film I wasn't braced for this scene. In fact, it was so disturbing that it pretty much ruined the rest of the picture for me. I watched it until the end but - that scene - left me dazed and detached. Viewing it again recently I was fully braced for - that scene - and was therefore able to appreciate the film.

    MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS:

    - Burt Reynolds is great as the macho protagonist Lewis, but he's largely missing during the third act and epilogue. The unassuming Ed (Voight) takes the reigns as deliverer, with Bobby (Beatty) lending a helping hand.

    - The film was shot on the Chattooga River in NE Georgia, which borders South Carolina. The gorge is located in Tallulah Gorge State Park 15 miles West of Walhalla, SC (you can actually see it via satellite on Google maps -- check it out). The dilapidated town in the epilogue is Sylva, NC, 45 miles north of the gorge. Needless to say, lush Eastern locations.

    - After the distubing scene a moral crisis takes place in the remote forest where the four members of the party must vote on a decision. Lewis (Reynolds) and Drew (Cox) make their cases and the other two must choose. Count me with Lewis. At first glance it would seem that Drew is arguing the side of the wimpy moralist, i.e. contact local law enforcement and allow the courts to settle the matter. Is this the real reason he takes this position or is it simply because he doesn't want to risk becoming an "accessory to a crime"? Actually, Lewis is no less the moralist -- after all, he makes a moral judgment and unhesitatingly acts -- it's just that he refuses to risk allowing the local authorities and a potential inbred jury (likely related somehow to the hillbillies) twist his just and necessary actions into a crime.

    - The writer of the story, James Dickey, effectively plays the towering Southern Sheriff in the epilogue.

    - The Deluxe Edition dvd includes an excellent 4-part documentary that runs about 45 minutes. All principle cast members are interviewed, as well as director Boorman and the son of James Dickey. By all accounts Dickey had a forceful personality and intimidating presence. He kept calling the actors by the names of the people they were playing even while not filming. One night in a pub he kept referring to Reynolds as "Lewis" from across the room and Burt refused to answer him. Dickey came up to his table and got in his face. Angered, Burt cussed at him and told him to quit calling him Lewis. Dickey paused for a moment and responded, "That's exactly what Lewis would have said" and walked away.

    - "Wrong Turn" is a modern horror film that, generally speaking, tackles the same subject as "Deliverance." The problem with the former film is that it's full of horror cliches and cops an unrealistic vibe. Don't get me wrong, it's an entertaining film but I was never able to buy into the story as a potential reality; hence, I didn't find it horrifying at all. "Deliverance," on the other hand, is totally realistic from beginning to end and is successfully horrifying precisely because it COULD happen.

    - Speaking of realism, Roger Ebert heavily criticized the scene in "Deliverance" where Ed (Voight) climbs up the rock gorge, arguing that it was totally unrealistic. Is he serious? He needs to get out more. I'm older than Ed in the film and could climb those rocks fairly easily (I'm not bragging, just pointing out that Ebert's criticism is not valid for anyone who's in remotely decent shape).

    - Also speaking of realism, if you suffer from ADHD and need constant (unrealistic) action scenes and goofy one-liners to maintain your attention, skip this one.

    - Lastly, "Deliverance" is going on 40 years old and hasn't dated at all. This is a timeless modern picture.

    PERSONAL GRADE: A ...more info
  • If you can't stand the heat......
    then maybe G rated movies are more your style. This was a terrific movie, disturbing, yet terrific. And believe it or not, men do get raped in real life...shocking I know. Film did not become a billion dollar industry off of disney alone. This was a great movie! ...more info
  • Much Better than Just the "Scene"
    This film created a subculture of slang and forever associated banjo music with something banjo music maybe doesn't deserve to be grouped with.

    That said, this film is far bigger than it's one infamous scene that even those who haven't seen the movie seem to know about. It's a classic man vs. nature vs. man vs. "man's nature" as four friends with very different personalities are physically tested by the woods, the rapids and themselves on an ill-advised whitewater trip.

    Intense ending. the only weak link is the actor that plays Drew, who could have afforded to play the weak link role more subtly....more info
  • Is the new Deluxe Edition transfer better than the original?
    One of the best as only the 70's could produce! By now, most should be familiar with the story/performances here so I will comment on the quality of the new and well deserved SE.

    First off, it is open for debate on whether this DVD transfer of this film is of better quality than the original DVD transfer. Please note that the Deluxe Edition transfer will surely come as a disappointment to some:

    Original DVD transfer - Specks and blemishes throughout the film. Greens and skin tone colors are more naturally rendered with a sharp transfer. Overall framing appears to be more to the left of actual center and possibly a bit less than actual widescreen when compared to the Deluxe Edition.

    Deluxe Edition transfer: Specks and blemishes have been cleaned up. Colors do appear muted or washed out with a greenish tinge to most scenes. A little soft on the transfer sharpness too. Transfer on the Deluxe Edition is more properly framed to true center than the original release for sure.

    What really beckons for the upgrade here is the documentary. Broken into 5 seperate sections, the documentary includes FULL participation from Voight, Reynolds, Cox, Beaty, Boorman, Glass(the hillbilly rapist), the cinematographer and Chris Dickey(son of author James Dickey). The candid recollections and behind the scenes stories from this group are priceless and give great insight to the making of this classic and their thoughts going into it. Great story on the 15 year old banjo player too!! DVD also includes the original 'making of' from the first DVD release and original theatrical trailer.

    An upgrade on this title is a real no-brainer for real cinema buffs who crave the 'behind the scenes' stuff but you might want to hold onto the original release for viewing purposes.

    A real thriller from start to finish and the film has aged extremely well, if at all. Too bad Burt's Smokey and the Bandit SE didn't get this much participation. By the way, James Dickey, author of Deliverance, portrayed the Sheriff at the end of the film...

    ...more info
  • They just don't make movies like this anymore
    John Boorman's seminal masterpiece still holds up 35 years later. Back in a time when Hollywood wasn't obsessed with uber-comercialism in the films they produced, author James Dickey adapted his own novel with director John Boorman at the helm. The end result is Deliverance: the infamous man versus nature allegory that still remains every bit as harrowing and horrifying as it did when it was first released in 1972. In case you don't know the story, Deliverance revolves around four "city boy" friends: Ed (Jon Voight), Lewis (Burt Reynolds), Bobby (Ned Beatty), and Drew (Ronny Cox); whose trip down the treacherous Georgia river turns into an incredibly violent nightmare when they run afoul of a couple backwoods hillbillies. What happens next turns into a fight for survival, that will test all of them in ways they never thought possible. As said before, Deliverance still holds up even after all this time since it's initial release, and with this Deluxe Edition DVD, the film can be appreciated even more so by a wider (and younger) audience. There's a great selection of special features, including commentary by Boorman, and a multi-part documentary featuring thoughts and comments from Boorman, James Dickey's son, and the main cast as well. It's incredibly rare that a film can hold up for all these years and not look dated, and it's even more rare that it can remain this powerful. ...more info
  • Pristine Wilderness and a toothless horror roled into one movie
    Ah, what can be more splendid than a white water rafting trip through the pristine waters on the last natural river in the Great American Southeast!

    Some city slickers, who are still southern, but city slickers nonetheless, decide to answer the call of their inner outdoorsman and venture down the stream less traveled in this 1972 thriller.

    Each of these four friends has a decidely different personality and seems to embody a different type of man. No suprise, Burt Reynolds plays the part of the bow-and-arrow wielding, muscular alpha male of the group. The other three look a bit maladjusted to outdoor life. Their place seems to be the office cubicle, or perhaps, on a weekend, the golf course. When pitted against the inbred dangers of the untamed Georgia wilderness, they look like nothing more than fodder, or perhaps potential male damsels in distress.

    Surrounded by lush wilderness and a river of tinkling, flowing water, their canoe trip looks like a treat to the eye, even with 1970's era film technology. If you're a camper or a fisher, you'd half wish you were there. That is, until trouble strikes.

    The film might be more tramatic to the urban half-men that populate American cities during the information age, any fear that you've had of the slack jawed, backwoods yokel with increase exponetially when you hear the famous "squeal like a pig" line.

    The four city slickers are pitted against a pair of mutated swamp dwellers who know every inch of the deadly wilderness. With no transportation other than a pair of flimsy canoes, will the four friends reach civilization alive? Even if they do reach the next town, will they get past the sheriff?

    The movie isn't non stop violence, there are only a couple scenes of it. Usually the impulsive human being needs a dose of violence or sex every few minutes or they immediately lose interest. This flick keeps your interest with suspense and worry about what might happen next. If you've ever enjoyed a suspense or a thriller, then this one is highly recommended, as it is top of the line in its genre.

    No more will be given away in this review so you can see for yourself what suprises are in store.

    Skip the camping trip and check out Deliverance....more info
  • Monumental...
    When I was a 10yo kid, I used to go to many R-rated movies w/ a friend and his older sister. Though I'd seen many such films and considered myself a hardened veteran, nothing could prepare me for DELIVERANCE. This movie terrified, disturbed, and sickened me. It is one of the movies of the early 70s that I could never forget (another being A Clockwork Orange). As many movies did in this time period, DELIVERANCE begins as a mild, humorous story, only to devolve into horror and madness. The most important thing to remember is that there was nothing else like it. The rape scene in DELIVERANCE was a cold slap in the face when the audience least expected it. Looking back, Boorman's opus fits right in w/ THE EXORCIST, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, and other american shockers of the day. Still, it stands alone in the way it changed the action / adventure movie. I still feel the same dread today that I felt 36 years ago as the story progresses toward it's inevitable darkness. I have yet to take a canoe trip on ANY river anywhere... ...more info
  • Don't miss this one
    This movie is worth getting for the banjo duel alone.You'll swear that hilly-billy boy is no actor but some genuine in-bred genius they found in the mountains.The film moves in and out of juxtapositions between civilization and wilderness.Great acting and riveting throughout. ...more info
  • Review of VCD delivered to me.
    Excellent. Arrived on time, priced correctly and the quality was superb.
    A wonderfully easy and convenient way to purchase a classic movie not available in my country....more info
  • A classic thriller has been remastered and loaded with extras
    This DVD is the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the film. One of the great things about Deliverance is that, even though it is an adventure filmed in the 1970's, it has managed to not age like a 70's film. It is both depressing and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful at the same time. The four leads do a tremendous job of playing the parts of urban dwellers who want a weekend of adventure in the wilds of Georgia and wind up getting far more than they bargained for. It has much to say about what it takes to make a man uncivilized and whether or not there is a bit of savagery in all of us, despite how domesticated we may be in predictable situations. Past these observation I won't rehash the plot elements since just about everybody on earth knows the details, and if you don't I won't spoil it for you. The film is newly remastered and will have many special features which include:

    Commentary by John Boorman - Director Boorman discusses the adventures, the team, the controversy and everything it took to make Deliverance a classic film.

    Deliverance: The Beginning - Take a historical look at the novel and its adaptation to the screen.

    Deliverance: The Journey - Along from the early stages of filming to the creation of classic moments, such as the Dueling Banjos scene.

    Deliverance: Betraying the River - The making of one of the most controversial and ground-breaking sequences in film history.

    Deliverance: Delivered - A reflective look back on the completion of the film, its impact and how the idea for the shocking ending came to be.

    The Dangerous World of Deliverance - The original behind-the-scenes documentary on the difficult conditions and challenges of making this film. This is on the 2004 release also.

    Theatrical Trailer

    This information comes from a press release by Warner Home Video. I have the 2004 release of this DVD, and quite frankly it looks fine now. I guess the primary reason to upgrade would be for all the extra features and the commentary, which are all new with the exception of "The Dangerous World of Deliverance", which was on the 2004 version of the DVD. ...more info
  • Greatness
    In this 1970s existential action epic, four suburban friends (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty) take a canoeing trip down a Georgia river. But what begins as a lighthearted adventure becomes a voyage into the heart of darkness when redneck locals descend on the foursome and force them to kill or be killed. The often discussed strength of this film is a remarkable performance by Burt Reynolds. He and Voigt are the perfect alter-egos to each other that reaches deep into the psyche of both. I can only wonder what happened to Reynolds after this film--I guess he got too full of himself. This film gets up close and personal with the characters and the acting is mostly wonderful. It also has a feel and taste of the Southeast area that rings consistently true. It may be a bit drawn out for the 'short attention span' crowd, but for those who want a little depth and real intensity to their action/drama films (as opposed to special effects and gore), I think you'll be rewarded with this unique classic....more info