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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1,324 ( 352)

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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 ...
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Seamon Glass ...
Randall Deal ...
...
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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:

Deliverance from evil 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:

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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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

Bobby is the only one of the four leads whose occupation is revealed (an insurance salesman). The book reveals that Ed is a graphic designer, Lewis is a landlord and Drew is a soft drink executive. See more »

Goofs

When Ed reaches the top of the Cliff, two hikers are visible on a trail on the opposite side of the river. 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

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Supernatural: Pilot (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Duelling Banjos
Written by Arthur Smith (uncredited)
Arranged and played by Eric Weissberg with Steve Mandel
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Disturbing, yet thought provoking
1 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

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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