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Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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1,439 ( 23)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ed
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...
...
Ed Ramey ...
...
Seamon Glass ...
Randall Deal ...
...
...
Lewis Crone ...
Ken Keener ...
Second Deputy
Johnny Popwell ...
John Fowler ...
Kathy Rickman ...
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Storyline

The Cahulawassee River valley in Northern Georgia is one of the last natural pristine areas of the state, which will soon change with the imminent building of a dam on the river, which in turn will flood much of the surrounding land. As such, four Atlanta city slickers - alpha male Lewis Medlock, generally even-keeled Ed Gentry, slightly condescending Bobby Trippe, and wide-eyed Drew Ballinger - decide to take a multi-day canoe trip on the river, with only Lewis and Ed having experience in outdoor life. They know going in that the area is ethno-culturally homogeneous and isolated, but don't understand the full extent of such until they arrive and see what they believe is the result of generations of inbreeding. Their relatively peaceful trip takes a turn for the worse when half way through they encounter a couple of hillbilly moonshiners. That encounter not only makes the four battle their way out of the valley intact and alive, but threatens the relationships of the four as they do ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the weekend they didn't play golf. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 September 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director John Boorman, the gas station attendant's jig during "Dueling Banjos" was unscripted and spontaneous. See more »

Goofs

While the river is being dredged for bodies and the canoe, the mic pack under Aintry Sheriff Bullard's shirt is visible. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Lewis: You w- you wanna... you wanna talk about the vanishing wilderness?
Bobby: Lewis, listen - what are you so anxious about this?
Lewis: Because they're buildin' a dam across the Cahulawassee River; they're gonna flood a whole valley, Bobby, that's why. Dammit, they're drownin' a river; they're drownin' a river, man.
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Crazy Credits

In the opening credits there is an obvious typo. About the main song first is written: "'Duelling Banjos' Arranged and played by Eric Weissberg with Steve Mandel". Right after that follows "The song 'Dueling Banjos' is an arrangement of the song 'Feudin' Banjos', copyright owner - Combine Music Corp." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fringe: Johari Window (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonshiner
Bob Dylan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the most disturbing films of all time
13 September 1999 | by (Tokyo, Japan) – See all my reviews

Unlike many other films, which are disturbing either by dint of their naked unpleasantness (Man Bites Dog) or their sheer violence (most Peckinpah films), Deliverance shocks by its plausibility. Certainly, the buggery scene is pretty straightforward in its unpleasantness, but the film's effect derives far more from its slow build-up and the tangible sense of isolation surrounding the four leads, both before and after everything starts to go wrong. The moment when the canoes pass under the child on the bridge, who does not even acknowledge the men he had earlier played music with, let alone show any sign of human affection towards them, is among the most sinister in modern film. The tension increases steadily throughout the canoe trip, and perseveres even after the final credits - the ending makes the significance of the characters' ordeals horrifically real. The movie's plausibility is greatly aided by the playing of the leads, particularly Ned Beatty and Jon Voight as the victim and reluctant hero respectively. Burt Reynolds, too, has never been better. The film's cultural influence is demonstrable by the number of people who will understand a reference to 'banjo territory' - perhaps only Get Carter has done such an effective hatchet-job on a region's tourist industry. I can think of only a handful of movies which put me into such a serious depression after they had finished - the oppressive atmosphere of Se7en is the best comparison I can think of. Although so much of it is excellent of itself, Deliverance is a classic above all because there are no adequate points of comparison with it - it is unique.


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What was the motivation for the mountain men? shaned3488
Lewis and Ed (B)romance? Iggs11
Does hillbilly life as portrayed in Deliverance still exist in South? cryptical17
Why the sexual assault is so troubling for men. bpjtuition
Bobby (being serious with this post) McCartney42
Why So Many Ridiculous Posts? janet-conant
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