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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.

Director:

John Boorman

Writers:

James Dickey (screenplay), James Dickey (novel)
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Popularity
1,302 ( 7)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... Ed
Burt Reynolds ... Lewis
Ned Beatty ... Bobby
Ronny Cox ... Drew
Ed Ramey Ed Ramey ... Old Man
Billy Redden ... Lonnie
Seamon Glass Seamon Glass ... First Griner
Randall Deal Randall Deal ... Second Griner
Bill McKinney ... Mountain Man
Herbert 'Cowboy' Coward ... Toothless Man
Lewis Crone Lewis Crone ... First Deputy
Ken Keener Ken Keener ... Second Deputy
Johnny Popwell Johnny Popwell ... Ambulance Driver
John Fowler John Fowler ... Doctor
Kathy Rickman ... Nurse
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 September 1972 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Deliverance See more »

Filming Locations:

Beaufort, South Carolina, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Mono (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the canoe scene, author James Dickey showed up inebriated and got into a bitter argument with John Boorman, who had re-written Dickey's script. They had a brief fistfight in which Boorman's nose was broken and four of his teeth shattered. Dickey was thrown off the set, but no charges were filed against him. The two reconciled and became good friends, and Boorman gave Dickey a cameo role as the Sheriff at the end of the film. See more »

Goofs

When Ed climbs to the top of the cliff to hunt the shooter, the rapids can be heard below. When Ed wakes up the next morning, the rapids are silent. 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.
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 »

Alternate Versions

One version appears to have some extra music and sound effects, the other has these deleted. Both versions are available on home video. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Last Movie Star (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonshiner
Bob Dylan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The thin line between "civilization" and barbarism
12 July 2001 | by virek213See 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.


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