75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic thriller has been remastered and loaded with extras
This DVD is the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the film. One of the great things about Deliverance is that, even though it is an adventure filmed in the 1970's, it has managed to not age like a 70's film. It is both depressing and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful at the same time. The four leads do a tremendous job of playing the parts of urban dwellers who want a...
Published on June 14, 2007 by calvinnme
31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "I never been insured in my life. There's no risk."
John Boorman's "Deliverance" is not a National Geographic film celebrating the beauty of nature. It is a film that deals entirely with a different kind of nature - the darker aspects of human nature. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) is an urbanite who fancies himself a man of the outdoors. To showcase his masculinity, he takes a group of friends with him on a canoe trip down a...
Published on March 5, 2003 by Steven Y.
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic thriller has been remastered and loaded with extras,
This DVD is the 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of the film. One of the great things about Deliverance is that, even though it is an adventure filmed in the 1970's, it has managed to not age like a 70's film. It is both depressing and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful at the same time. The four leads do a tremendous job of playing the parts of urban dwellers who want a weekend of adventure in the wilds of Georgia and wind up getting far more than they bargained for. It has much to say about what it takes to make a man uncivilized and whether or not there is a bit of savagery in all of us, despite how domesticated we may be in predictable situations. Past these observation I won't rehash the plot elements since just about everybody on earth knows the details, and if you don't I won't spoil it for you. The film is newly remastered and will have many special features which include:
Commentary by John Boorman - Director Boorman discusses the adventures, the team, the controversy and everything it took to make Deliverance a classic film.
Deliverance: The Beginning - Take a historical look at the novel and its adaptation to the screen.
Deliverance: The Journey - Along from the early stages of filming to the creation of classic moments, such as the Dueling Banjos scene.
Deliverance: Betraying the River - The making of one of the most controversial and ground-breaking sequences in film history.
Deliverance: Delivered - A reflective look back on the completion of the film, its impact and how the idea for the shocking ending came to be.
The Dangerous World of Deliverance - The original behind-the-scenes documentary on the difficult conditions and challenges of making this film. This is on the 2004 release also.
This information comes from a press release by Warner Home Video. I have the 2004 release of this DVD, and quite frankly it looks fine now. I guess the primary reason to upgrade would be for all the extra features and the commentary, which are all new with the exception of "The Dangerous World of Deliverance", which was on the 2004 version of the DVD.
72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What REALLY happened on the Cahulawassee River?,
This review is from: Deliverance [VHS] (VHS Tape)
When it comes to fictional survival stories, few can approach the sheer grueling brutality of DELIVERANCE. Brilliantly adapted by James Dickey from his best-selling book and superbly directed by John Boorman (POINT BLANK, HOPE AND GLORY), this is a tremendous endeavor. So much so that horror writer Stephen King and Boorman's fellow director Stanley Kubrick both expressed a tremendous admiration of it.
As pretty much everyone knows, DELIVERANCE focuses on four Atlanta businessmen (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) who decide to take a canoe trip down the Cahulawassee River in the Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia before it is dammed up into a lake. It is apparent, however, that the local folk don't take kindly to these "city boys" messing around in their woods. And when Voight and Beatty are sexually assaulted at gunpoint by a pair of sadistic rednecks (Bill McKinney, Herbert "Cowboy" Coward), in the infamous "SQUEAL!!" segment, what began as a canoe trip explodes into a nightmare.
Much is made, and justifiably so, not only of the "SQUEAL" scene but also of the "Dueling Banjos" part, between Cox and a retarted mountain kid. But DELIVERANCE has much more to offer besides these moments. Like A CLOCKWORK ORANGE and STRAW DOGS, it offers a hard-hitting and unflinching look at Man's penchant for violent and (arguably) abhorrent behavior. The four leads are extremely good in their roles, and McKinney and Coward make for two of the more frightening and vicious villains in screen history. Dickey appears in the film's final reel as a local sheriff who, as he puts it would "kinda like to see this town die peaceful."
Shot totally on location, and featuring ominous cinematography from the legendary Vilmos Zsigmond, DELIVERANCE is a great and frightening piece--arguably a modern gothic horror film, certainly a great action film with an undercurrent as sinister as the Cahulawassee River itself. It is not to be missed,
72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They don't make 'em like they used to...,
Director John Boorman's exciting, brutal, brooding, explosive and violent masterpiece remains one of Hollywood's most intelligent takes on the complex, contradictory cultures of American manhood, otherwise the more familiar preserve of directors like Sam Peckinpah and Walter Hill. Based on James Dickey's novel, Deliverance roots itself assuredly in fascinating and provocative dualities: liberal modernity and backwoods barbarism; beauty and violence; kindness and cuelty; morality and pragmatism and, atmospherically, the existential and the visceral - situating it a distinct cut above the average Hollywood action adventure output. Four suburban friends - career-best performances from Reynolds, Voight, Beatty and Cox - take one last alpha-male shot at canoeing the mighty Cahulawassee river - just as it is set to be flooded - literally and figuratively - by the needs, culture and infastructure of the New South as it rolls unforgivingly through what's left of the countryside.Just as their own middle class tensions, arrogances and irritations begin to surface, they run - courtesy of the hostile local population - into a world much smaller(...). What starts out as an egoistic attempt to reclaim some element of American frontier manhood amidst the privileged, cosseted reality of an otherwise safely suburban life becomes a gripping struggle to survive the ravages of nature and (distinctly warped) nurture. Features what is probably the silver screen's most notorious male rape scene, an episode that slides so quickly and unsuspectingly from cautious negotiation to gruelling and humiliating cruelty that it still retains the power to shock and unsettle. Possibly did more than any other movie to forever demonise the poor-white population of the Appalachians, spawning a slew of inferior copycats as well as the opportunistic "hillbilly horror" sub-genre that persisted into the early 80s with such exploitation nonsense as Hillbilly Holocaust and Trapped. Walter Hill's differently brlliant Southern Comfort, Jonathan Mostow's efficient suspenser Breakdown and Curtis Hanson's The River Wild can be argued to be among Deliverance's more palatable latter-day spawn. (In the latter, Meryl Streep shows that otherwise meek women - pushed to the limit - can be just as primal given a reason and a river!) Deliverance is a superior film that harks back to the days when a thoughtful Hollywood film and a crowd-pleasing box office smash were - more often than not - one and the same thing.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy Changes Men. To Blu Ray or Not to Blu Ray,
This review is from: Deliverance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The American Heritage Dictionary online defines deliverance as the act of being delivered and to rescue from danger or bondage. The film Deliverance nominated for three Oscars (director, picture, and film editing) shows how a tragedy can change man. Made as V ietnam was ending and men returning home from war, themselves changed, the film seems an appropriate metaphor rather than mere exploitation.
Four friends from the city embark on a weekend canoe trip downriver that is surrounded by poverty stricken tough hillbilly types. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) is the dominant leader of the group. Ed (Jon Voight) is a family man who would seem to have grown up with Lewis and idolizes him. Ed is respected, passive, and is the type that would rather fit in then stand out. Bobby (Ned Beatty) is the heavyset insurance salesman who is the butt of the joke at times and would rather talk or joke his way out of confrontation. Bobby is not the laid back type; he is bothered when Lewis gives him a hard time but is submissive and would rather vent to Ed rather then confront Lewis. Drew is another leader he is independent and has a quite confidence and unlike, Bobby, he voices his opinion and stands his ground.
Something horrible happens to Bobby in the woods and Ed is forced to watch helpless, they are both saved by Lewis and Drew but neither will ever be the same again. Although Lewis rescues them from danger with his bow it is the horrific act and the acts to follow that free them from their bondage of fear. The scene in the hospital at the end when Ed angrily accuses Bobby about what he thinks he said to the police, at first brushes it off with a smile followed very quickly wish a push, Ed counters this by slamming Bobby against the wall and soon the men have their hands around each others throats and are starring eye to eye. Bobby, hands around Ed's throat, calmly and steady handed tells him he didn't say anything and Ed believes him. These are not the same men that entered those woods like the many that enter the jungle and the desert, they have changed.
THE BLU RAY - Picture and sound weren't the best I have seen on blu ray but were good. If you have a blu ray player and own Deliverance I would stick with what you have. If your buying this for the first time I'd spent the extra dollar it is here on Amazon and get the blu ray.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scarier by far than any "horror" film.,
This is a fascinating movie on several levels, and one that takes a close look at the male of the species. It is, if memory serves, the only movie I think I have ever seen with no female characters at all. It's been a few years since I've watched it, but I can't remember any women in the movie at all. The plot revolves around four suburban Atlanta businessmen who decide to undertake a canoe trip down the soon to be dammed Cahulawasee River -- the ultimate male vacation: an outdoor trip of camping, canoeing, fishing, and beer drinking. Four different male personality types are featured among the group. Lewis, played brilliantly by Burt Reynolds in what remains his best performance to date, is the alpha male. He's the most athletic, and the most assertive, and like any alpha male trying to assert dominance, can and does rub some people the wrong way. This creates friction with Ned Beatty's character, Bobby, who is overweight, unathletic, and not much of an outdoorsman. Jon Voight's character Ed is an sometime outdoorsman like Lewis, but he lacks any killer instinct that Lewis may have, and is not a dominating personality like Lewis is. Last is Drew, played by Ronny Cox, who is a man of strong moral convictions, no less assertive than Lewis in his own way, but less aggressive and one who places far more reliance on society and trust in its institutions than an individualist like Lewis does.
The four men come into contact with a malicious pair of locals during their trip, and end up killing one of them in self-defense after Bobby is sexually assaulted and Ed is about to be. Fittingly, it's Lewis who takes the lead in this. They decide to bury the corpse, continue on their way, and resume their lives afterward, after Lewis argues that they would be taking a foolish risk trusting the local authorities, and submit to the judgment of a local jury, who would almost certainly be filled with men who knew him and might even be related. Lewis may sincerely believe this, but one also gets the sense that he, being an adventurer at heart, actually enjoys the idea of "getting away with it." Drew, the moralist, argues strongly against this. Bobby, not wanting it to become publicly known how he has been humiliated and raped, agrees with Lewis, and easygoing, unassertive Ed goes along with the majority opinion. They continue on their way, and the surviving Hillbilly ambushes the canoeists farther down the river. Lewis, the best equipped to fight back, both mentally and physically, is wounded and unable to act, forcing Ed to take the lead. They do eventually get out of their adventure, but not without further losses.
The movie is, in truth, a great film overall, and it can be enjoyed for that reason, but there is no doubt that it has entered the popular consciousness for one reason above all: the truly spine-chilling male rape scene. I remember reading a review for the 1992 film version of "Last of the Mohicans" when it came out, wherein the reviewer opined that the sight of the Huron Indians charging explosively out of the forest to slaughter surprised British redcoats was scarier than any horror movie monster, because it was a terror that had actually existed in the real world. That may be true, but war-painted, tomahawk-wielding American woodland Indians, such as the Iroquois and Huron warriors were in the late 18th century are part of history now, and are just as remote from most people's experience as sci-fi and horror movie villains. The Hillbillies from "Deliverance", on the other hand, are something else. And it's not so much because the are Hillbillies -- in truth most people have probably never met, and will never meet an actual Hillbilly in their entire lives -- but the cruelties the ones in this movie inflict on the main characters are realistic, and assaults of that type do take place in the real world, and it is this that makes this so frightening.
I first saw this movie when I was in high school, and I remember finding the now famous male rape scene to be the single most disturbing thing I had ever seen in my life. It chills the blood for two particular reasons. The first is that the villains of the piece are hideously cruel and vicious. The degradation and anguish to which they subject Ned Beatty's character in this scene, and the sadistic glee they take in doing so is truly horrifying, primarily because the viewer always understands that real people actually do things like this in the real world. AS scary as the monster in "Alien" was, for example, deep down one has no real fear of being torn apart by a predatory alien life form. One doesn't have to work to hard to imagine suffering at the hands of a human sadist, on the other hand. The second, even more powerful reason this scene is so disturbing to watch is because it depicts a human being who has totally given up all resistance and has become completely submissive. Once the realization sets in of what is about to be done to him, he simply begs and pleads, weakly trying to push his attacker away, and soon giving up even that token resistance. He totally submits to the mercy of a man who appears not to have even a shred mercy in him, and this man joyfully deprives him of every last bit of his dignity, revels in the pain he is causing, and very likely would have killed him in the end. All this is powerfully disturbing to watch. And because such human monsters do exist in the real world, and people have a realistic fear of ever falling under the power of one, this makes for a gripping, terrifying scene that no horror movies, with all their buckets of gore, can ever hope to match.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential viewing just for the cultural references,
There were many times where I felt left out of a joke because, while I knew the source material, I did not know the context of "Squeal like a pig" or the sound of "Dueling Banjos". I finally sat down one Sunday afternoon with a copy of Deliverance just so I wouldn't feel so left out.
While I now understand all the little marks this film left on pop culture, it also brought on two unexpected reactions from me. #1)No matter how well you think you know yourself, you will only know your "true" self when put in unfamiliar situations. Sure, it is easy to say "Well, I would react this way if that happened!", truth is you don't know sqaut until someone puts you to the actual test.
#2)What happened to films like this? This movie, and most movies of the pre-1980's, were willing to spend time engrossing you. Let the camera linger for that extra second, let the visual truly sink in. Let the characters have a discussion about mundane, every day life....it let's you crawl into their head a little bit more, and makes the situations they are put into seem all that more real, and in this case, startling to you. Take any of today's movies like "Matrix" or "Swordfish" that rely so heavily on their pretty special effects, I felt no connection to the characters, no concern when something happens to them. Give me a movie like Deliverance, or any of it's other pre-1980's ilk, and I will be a happy camper!
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real River Wild,
John Boorman will probably forever be best known as the director who gave us the brillianly conceived screen production of "Excalibur", but in 1971 he came up with this adaptation of James Dickey's novel of the same name, and with the help of four 'game' actors, created one of the best films of all time.
Even if it's not your cup of tea (due to the disturbing nature of the film), it's something everybody should watch at least once. John Voight is the audience member's representation--even if he doesn't say much, he does a great understated acting job, making clear the horror that he feels, and that we feel through him.
Ronny Cox plays the conscience, Burt Reynolds the ego, and Ned Beatty the victim of the human condition, and tied in with the wonderful cinematography, filmed on location in Georgia, this is one of the most suspenseful movies of all time.
It's also famous for the 'Duelling Banjos' scene that opens the film--unforgettable, and it sets the tone for the rest of the film, when Ronny Cox puts it best:
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pristine Wilderness and a toothless horror roled into one movie,
Ah, what can be more splendid than a white water rafting trip through the pristine waters on the last natural river in the Great American Southeast!
Some city slickers, who are still southern, but city slickers nonetheless, decide to answer the call of their inner outdoorsman and venture down the stream less traveled in this 1972 thriller.
Each of these four friends has a decidely different personality and seems to embody a different type of man. No suprise, Burt Reynolds plays the part of the bow-and-arrow wielding, muscular alpha male of the group. The other three look a bit maladjusted to outdoor life. Their place seems to be the office cubicle, or perhaps, on a weekend, the golf course. When pitted against the inbred dangers of the untamed Georgia wilderness, they look like nothing more than fodder, or perhaps potential male damsels in distress.
Surrounded by lush wilderness and a river of tinkling, flowing water, their canoe trip looks like a treat to the eye, even with 1970's era film technology. If you're a camper or a fisher, you'd half wish you were there. That is, until trouble strikes.
The film might be more tramatic to the urban half-men that populate American cities during the information age, any fear that you've had of the slack jawed, backwoods yokel with increase exponetially when you hear the famous "squeal like a pig" line.
The four city slickers are pitted against a pair of mutated swamp dwellers who know every inch of the deadly wilderness. With no transportation other than a pair of flimsy canoes, will the four friends reach civilization alive? Even if they do reach the next town, will they get past the sheriff?
The movie isn't non stop violence, there are only a couple scenes of it. Usually the impulsive human being needs a dose of violence or sex every few minutes or they immediately lose interest. This flick keeps your interest with suspense and worry about what might happen next. If you've ever enjoyed a suspense or a thriller, then this one is highly recommended, as it is top of the line in its genre.
No more will be given away in this review so you can see for yourself what suprises are in store.
Skip the camping trip and check out Deliverance.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They just don't make movies like this anymore,
John Boorman's seminal masterpiece still holds up 35 years later. Back in a time when Hollywood wasn't obsessed with uber-comercialism in the films they produced, author James Dickey adapted his own novel with director John Boorman at the helm. The end result is Deliverance: the infamous man versus nature allegory that still remains every bit as harrowing and horrifying as it did when it was first released in 1972. In case you don't know the story, Deliverance revolves around four "city boy" friends: Ed (Jon Voight), Lewis (Burt Reynolds), Bobby (Ned Beatty), and Drew (Ronny Cox); whose trip down the treacherous Georgia river turns into an incredibly violent nightmare when they run afoul of a couple backwoods hillbillies. What happens next turns into a fight for survival, that will test all of them in ways they never thought possible. As said before, Deliverance still holds up even after all this time since it's initial release, and with this Deluxe Edition DVD, the film can be appreciated even more so by a wider (and younger) audience. There's a great selection of special features, including commentary by Boorman, and a multi-part documentary featuring thoughts and comments from Boorman, James Dickey's son, and the main cast as well. It's incredibly rare that a film can hold up for all these years and not look dated, and it's even more rare that it can remain this powerful.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic now best on blu-ray,
This review is from: Deliverance [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
There are a plethora of reviews of the movie, but my review is mostly a comparison of the BD vs DVD version. I won't discuss its merits as movie. Regardless how one feels about the movie itself, it has been elected for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress due to its cultural, historical, or aesthetic significance to the United States.
I saw Deliverance on VHS tape, 2 DVD versions and finally BD, as different releases were made.
This movie is best in BD. Its more than digitized, but restored. The cinematography is deliberately undersaturated, as Boorman discusses in the film's extras, but one can easily adjust a digital TV to improve on the flatness of the color and its sharpness, if one chose to. It is far clearer than any version I've seen before and now in perfect 16:9 aspect ratio, compared to DVD's released as letterboxed, 4:3 and finally full screen.
Boorman's commentary on the making of his film is priceless, as it details enormous sub-elements within the film, that seem accidental but were actually designed on purpose, and much difficulty in making the film due to its very limited budget. The BD has a large amount of very informative extras on disk. For example, in the scene were Cox is found maimed on a tree trunk after being lost in the river, Boorman learned Cox was double jointed and could dislocate his shoulder painlessly at will, so he incorporated it into the script.
The quality of the transfer is good, but unlike other older films transferred to BD, there are rare moments were the cinematography seemed uneven: near the camping scene, Reynold's at times is momentarily blurrier then later sharply focused, and its not clear if it was intentional cinematography or a transfer problem.
Some BD highlights:
Reynold's wear a cut-off rubber or neoprene vest through the film and the details are more highlighted. The texture of the vest's pattern are sharply outlined
The arrow tips, sharp and knife like, seems more menacing in its clarity and sparkle
Rafting scenes have the waters sparkle clearly with the foliage on the river banks sharply outlined and you-are-there clarity of green leaves
The effects used to colorize the dark sky as Voight scales the cliff is strangely unrealistic, and this was not as noticeable in the less clear DVD releases
Sound is not 5.1, but is clear stereo
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Deliverance [Blu-ray] by John Boorman (Blu-ray - 2007)
In stock on August 25, 2014