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.
A wide variety of eccentric competitors participate in a wild and illegal cross-country road race. However, the eccentric entrants will do anything to win the road race, including low-down, dirty tricks.
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
Regarding the courage of the four main actors in the movie doing their own stunts without insurance protection, James Dickey was quoted as saying all of them "had more guts than a burglar". In a nod to their stunt-performing audacity, early in the movie Lewis says, "Insurance? I've never been insured in my life. I don't believe in insurance. There's no risk." See more »
During the drive to the river near the start of the film, trees and other background items are reflected in the windshield. They should've been blocked by the canoes on the roof (and they are in the long shots). 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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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 »
The TBS "Dinner and a Movie" version not only omits Ned Beatty's rape, but also removes portions of scenes involving the hillbillies, so that emphasis seems more focused on the men versus the elements instead of the locals. See more »
Insanely disturbing, survival movie. It will change ur perception about human nature.
I first saw this on a vhs in the 90s, then on a vcd in 2006 n finally on a blu-ray. It's an extremely disturbing film especially the scene with Ned Beatty. One of the best backwoods/survival film of all time.
The film's awesome scenery, the sounds of birds, reptiles n insects n the gushing wild rivers combined with the absence of civilization are characters themselves.
We get to see Jon Voight doing some daredevil rock climbing and Burt Reynolds in his sleeveless t shirt flaunting biceps.
John Boorman has created one of the best movies based on James Dickey's novel. Indeed an influential movie. The banjo scene n the music is terrific.
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