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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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
To save costs and add to the realism, local residents were cast in the roles of the hill people. See more »
During the drive to the river near the start of the film, the reflections of the trees etc. can be seen in the windscreen - but this should have been blocked by the canoes on the roof (and indeed they are in the long shots of the same journey) See more »
You w- you wanna... you wanna talk about the vanishing wilderness?
Lewis, listen - what are you so anxious about this?
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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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 »
This was, undoubtedly, the most disturbing movie that I have ever seen. The first part of the movie, though strange, has a light and amusing quality to it. The journey begins on such a peaceful note, detailing and emphasizing the beauty of the hills of Appalachia. But that is misleading beyond belief. The obvious social problems (inbreeding) and the deformities of the countryside's inhabitants are only the first disturbing aspects of the movie. I can still hear Bobby moaning in pain, and I shudder at the thought. Lewis's leg made me wince. Yet, while the movie was, on the whole, very disturbing and distressing, it posed some interesting questions. When is it moral, or right to take another individual's life? What can morality drive us to do, or not do, in some cases? And are dignity and moral integrity more important than life itself? Whatever conclusions one may draw from the film, it is an achievement in its own right (despite certain aspects that were chillingly real and gruesome).
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