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Deliverance (1972)

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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.



(screenplay), (novel)
1,350 ( 426)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





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


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:

20 September 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$46,122,355, 31 December 1972
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bill McKinney first auditioned for the role of Lewis Medlock before being cast as the Mountain Man. See more »


When the men fall into the river, nobody is clinging to their paddle. After the three survivors find the intact canoe, they still have three paddles, and the canoe is only half-filled with water. 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.
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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 »


Bob Dylan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Sometimes you have to lose yourself before you can find anything."
15 July 2007 | by See all my reviews

John Boorman's "Deliverance" concerns four suburban Atlanta dwellers who take a ride down the swift waters of the Cahulawassee… The river is about to disappear for a dam construction and the flooding of the last untamed stretches of land…

The four friends emphasize different characters: a virile sports enthusiast who has never been insured in his life since there is no specific risk in it (Burt Reynolds); a passionate family man and a guitar player (Ronny Cox); an overweight bachelor insurance salesman (Ned Beatty); and a quiet, thoughtful married man with a son who loves to smoke his pipe (Jon Voight).

What follows is the men's nightmarish explorations against the hostile violence of nature…It is also an ideal code of moral principle about civilized men falling prey to the dark laws of the wilderness…

Superbly shot, this thrilling adult adventure certainly contains some genuinely gripping scenes…

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