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Deliverance (1972)

2:53 | Trailer
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)
1,607 ( 120)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jon Voight ... Ed
Burt Reynolds ... Lewis
Ned Beatty ... Bobby
Ronny Cox ... Drew
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 ... 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 halfway through with river rapids and unwelcoming locals. The four need to battle 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:

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Did You Know?


2005's British thriller The Descent is similar to Deliverance thematically in that we have a group of friends doing a back to nature type camping trip which devolves into a grim, survivalist horror show for everyone involved; pitting man against nature and man against man. Both movies also take place on and around the Appalachian mountains in the Carolinas. Although the Descent is a supernatural horror show and Deliverance is a realist horror movie; one movie focusing on self sacrifice and motherhood; the other on rape and revenge; the villains in one movie being subterranean demons; the other being almost mutant like inbred sexually predatory mountain men; the cast of the Descent being almost entirely female; and the cast of Deliverance is all men; and Deliverance's cast is all American and the Descent is all British the movies certainly have profound differences. (The director of Deliverance John Boorman is British though). But with their grim survivalist feeling; the essential toughness both stories have about them, the fact that both movies have a similar tone and message about the importance of facing the abyss in building character, highlight that both movies are profoundly similar as well. See more »


When Lewis lies in the canoe, with a fractured femur, between Ed and Bobby, Lewis' position changes. One long shot only shows the two paddlers, while closer shots show Lewis' head in plain view. 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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »


Referenced in Radio Free America: Primate Studies (2019) See more »


Bob Dylan
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User Reviews

If we stop people marrying their siblings and cousins
16 August 2020 | by dmulgmuaSee all my reviews

Then we put a stop to republicans?

Is that the story.

The story is brutal. The scenery is fantastic and the boy's banjo playing is enthralling.

35 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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 »

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