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Deliverance (1972)

R  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Thriller  |  30 July 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 73,587 users  
Reviews: 336 user | 123 critic

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.



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



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


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


Four men ride a wild river. A weekend turns into a nightmare. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

30 July 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 1,443,730 (Sweden)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Dickey:  The sheriff, at the end of the film. See more »


When Lewis lays on the rocks after breaking his leg, the flesh and bone sticking out of his leg change between shots. See more »


[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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits only show the cast and a notice of where the location of the film was shot and the special thanks, which rolls over a shot of Ed and his wife laying down trying to sleep. It also shows the shot of the lake where the hand ascended up out of the water and the final credit reads 'Distributed by WARNER BROS' See more »


Bob Dylan
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The thin line between "civilization" and barbarism
12 July 2001 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

As Peckinpah did with STRAW DOGS, and Kubrick with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, director John Boorman delivers an effective film about Man's violent side in DELIVERANCE, arguably a definitive horror film of the 1970s. Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox portray four Atlanta businessmen who decide to take a canoe trip down the wild Cahulawassee River in northern Georgia before it is dammed up into what Reynolds calls "one big, dead lake."

But the local mountain folk take a painfully obvious dim view of these "city boys" carousing through their woods. And the following day, continuing on down the river, Beatty and Voight are accosted and sexually assaulted (the film's infamous "SQUEAL!" sequence) by two vicious mountain men (Bill McKinney, Herbert "Cowboy" Coward). Thus, what started out as nothing more than a lark through the Appalachians has now turned into a nightmare in which our four protagonists come to see the thin line that exists between what we think of as civilization and what we think of as barbarism.

James Dickey adapted the screenplay from his own best-selling book, and the result is an often gripping and disturbing shocker. Often known for its "SQUEAL!" and "Dueling Banjos" sequences, DELIVERANCE is also quite a pulse-pounding ordeal, with the four leading men superb in their roles, and McKinney and Coward making for two of the most frightening villains of all times. A must-see film for those willing to take a chance.

59 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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