72 of 81 people found the following review helpful
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,
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 27, 2010 1:35:34 PM PDT
One of the better reviews. thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2011 9:50:05 AM PDT
Kathy K says:
Definitely a well written review. If you have ever experienced the cultural divide between deep Appalachia and the rest of the south, especially in the 1970's, this movie is a graphic illustration of that. My father used to go down there with the federal government and come back and tell some pretty mind blowing stories. Not for weak constitutions!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 15, 2011 2:22:36 PM PDT
Kathy, now we are . . . intrigued.
Posted on Jan 29, 2012 1:10:07 PM PST
Shirley Hawkins says:
I still recall Deliverance as one of the most memorable movies ever made. All the performances were excellent. Whoever wrote this movie is a genius. And ladies, check out Burt Reynolds (in his juicy, sexy prime) in all his muscular glory. Years later, I still remember his bulging pecs--and revisit the movie just so I can marvel at those pecs once more.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2012 3:35:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2012 3:35:51 PM PST
lol I thought it would be Ned Beatty! But speaking of bulge, it was James Dickey who adapted his own novel to the screen. He also plays the sheriff near the end. A fascinating movie indeed. In 1975, I was still in high school and I remember that it was rerealesed by Warner and co-billed with A CLOCKWORK ORANGE. The add said, "two of the most controversial films our time."
Daring times, those 70's.
Posted on Aug 3, 2012 9:19:26 PM PDT
Hello Erik north,
I love this movie. Burt reynolds, Ned beatty, (midnight cowboy John voight) and (Beverly hills cop captain) Ronnie cox were ALL fabulous in it ! Everything about this movie was very realistic. The strange locals,The wilderness scenes wonderful, The dueling banjos scene with Ronnie cox actually playing a guitar was great. Boy! was that kid playing the banjo SUPER-CREEPY looking!..not the kind of guy you want your daughter to date. LOL. Plus near the end when Burt reynolds is in the hospital thats Ed o neill who played al bundy from "Married with children" sitcom as the cop. great review. I love this movie. It was definetely 4 stars and like you said already this movie is not to be missed! Godbless.
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 29, 2012 1:23:58 PM PST
Mark O. Avery says:
Just rediscovered this classic again on blu-ray....quite the spell-binding film. The entire undertaking is surely not to be missed....have a
strong stomach for violence and be mightily entertained!!
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