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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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 ...
...
...
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:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

20 September 1972 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Turner Classic Movies, John Boorman wanted Lee Marvin and Marlon Brando to play Ed and Lewis, respectively. After reading the script, Marvin said he and Brando were too old, and suggested that Boorman use younger actors instead. Boorman agreed, and cast Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds. 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

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 City Slickers (1991) 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

 
Brilliantly Harrowing Film
24 December 2000 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

After having seen Deliverance, movies like Pulp Fiction don't seem so extreme. Maybe by today's blood and bullets standards it doesn't seem so edgy, but if you think that this was 1972 and that the movie has a truly sinister core then it makes you think differently.

When I started watching this movie nothing really seemed unusual until I got to the "Dueling Banjos" scene. In that scene the brutality and edge of this film is truly visible. As I watched Drew(Ronny Cox,Robocop)go head to head with a seemingly retarted young boy it really shows how edgy this movies can get. When you think that the kid has a small banjo, which he could of probably made by hand, compared to Drew's nice expensive guitar, you really figure out just how out of their territory the four men are.

As the plot goes it's very believable and never stretches past its limits. But what really distinguishes this film, about four business men who get more than they bargained for on a canoe trip, is that director John Boorman(Excalibur) breaks all the characters away from plain caricatures or stereotypes. So as the movie goes into full horror and suspense I really cared about all four men and what would happen to them.

The acting is universally excellent. With Jon Voight(Midnight Cowboy, Enemy of the State) and Burt Reynolds(Boogie Nights, Striptease) leading the great cast. Jon Voight does probably the hardest thing of all in this film and that is making his transformation from family man to warrior very believable. Unlike Reynolds whose character is a warrior from the start, Voight's character transforms over the course of the movie. Ned Beatty(Life) is also good in an extremely hard role, come on getting raped by a hillbilly, while Ronny Cox turns in a believable performance.

One thing that really made this movies powerful for me is that the villains were as terrifying as any I had ever seen. Bill Mckinney and Herbert "Cowboy" Coward were excellent and extremely frightening as the hillbilly's.

Overall Deliverance was excellent and I suggest it to anyone, except for people with weak stomachs and kids. 10/10. See this movie.


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