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Deliverance (1972)

2:54 | Trailer

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Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it's dammed and turned into a lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a canoeing trip they'll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.


John Boorman


James Dickey (screenplay), James Dickey (novel)
1,593 ( 154)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





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


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 dwellers, alpha male Lewis Medlock, Ed Gentry, Bobby Trippe, and 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 isolated. Their relatively peaceful trip takes a turn for the worse when half way through with river rapids and unwelcoming locals. The four battle need to their way out of the valley and are asked to do things they never thought possible within themselves. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What _did_ happen on the Cahulawassee River? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

18 August 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Deliverance See more »

Filming Locations:

Beaufort, South Carolina, USA See more »


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


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


No credit was given for the film score. The film has several sparse, brooding passages of music scattered throughout, including several played on a synthesizer. Some prints of the movie omit much of this extra music. See more »


The rope used to bring the body down from the cliff is thicker than the rope Ed wore over one shoulder and across the chest. 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.
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

The scene in which Ned Beatty is raped, has been entirely cut for German video and TV versions in order to show the movie at prime time (which requires a rating of "12" or lower). Therefore, some of the following dialogue and subtle references seem to be incoherent. The German DVD version ("Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste") is fully uncensored. (Warner Home Video; released on January 26, 2000.) Since 2005 the movie is shown on TV uncut! See more »


Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #6.6 (2005) See more »


Duelling Banjos
Written by Arthur Smith (uncredited)
Arranged and played by Eric Weissberg with Steve Mandel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A fantastic portrait of terror in mind vs terror in reality
27 May 2016 | by DavidLindahlSee all my reviews

To try and explain the greatness of Deliverance, you must first understand the impact this film had when it came. Most of us have probably seen a horror film about a gang in the woods that gets harassed and stalked by people. Deliverance is the father of these films and an original that stands really well to this day as one of the best films ever made in the genre. A gang of four guys ventures out in nature to paddle canoes along Cahulawassee River before it gets flooded into a lake. However their boat trip does not turn out the way they had hoped for when they suddenly gets stalked and harassed by the locals. Burt Reynolds plays the outdoor fanatic Lewis who brings his friends on the journey, Jon Voght, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox. The film is directed by John Boorman from the novel by the same name from 1970.

What is it then that makes Deliverance so incredibly good. At the beginning of the film the gang is traveling by car, the mood is good and very typical for guys. After having a short break to fill up the cars with petrol and listening to the famous banjo duel "Dueling Banjos" between Ronny Cox's character and a local boy, they head for the river. What happens next out on the river is like a nightmare and also very psychologically demanding. Deliverance always feels so real and genuine that you truly become frightened. How would you yourself react in a similar situation so far away from civilization? After the gang starts to get harassed in the woods, the panic and fear increases. They all react differently, and rightly so, no human being is the other alike. That is just what makes it so good, the characters' different personalities. The film then sort of becomes a psychological mind game, perhaps mostly taking place in their heads. Are they being followed, how will they get out of the situation they are in and what will they say when they return?

Besides the psychological aspects of Deliverance, it is also incredibly beautiful to watch. It's completely filmed on location out in the woods with actors willing to perform the different stunts themselves. As I wrote when I reviewed The Revenant, this is also a man vs wild film. In the beginning we experience nature as incredibly beautiful and stunning but later it quickly turns to become your worst nightmare. Incredibly well done by the director. The absolute greatness in Deliverance lies according to me in the end and the summarization of the film. What really happened and what didn't happen. How do you react to these kinds of situations out in the middle of nowhere? Can we return with our senses intact and how do you change as a person after experiencing something like it? Without spoiling the story too much, I've here tried to review and explain what Deliverance is to me. I recommend everyone to watch it and it is very high up on my list of the best films ever made.

David Lindahl - www.filmografen.se

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