Top critical review
Photography, acting great... river scenery and Burt Reynolds scenery great
on July 17, 2017
There are good things about this movie. Photography, for one. Just puts you right into the scene. For another, the outstanding acting performances of Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronnie Cox, Ned Beatty. ( I am sorrythat Ned Beatty's first role in a major feature film, this one, involved forced nudity and non-consensual sodomy. Truly I am ) River scenery is breath-taking.
Events are paced quickly and give us thrills and fear. Not altogether a plus, as the movie is "shock 'em, rock 'em, but don't let 'em think..." In other words, "direct impact, that's all"...
This movie is the grandfather of several things in our culture, such as survival, survival, survival...These days we approach survival differently than the guys in the movie did.
To accentuate the positive, Burt Reynolds is well photographed in "Deliverance". Burt Reynolds has a beautiful male human form shown off dramatically in this movie and used well to advance the storyline; Jon Voight offers very complex development of his character, by turns tender and comforting and by turns bold and brave. To say the least. Ronnie Cox and Ned Beatty handle very complex demands of their roles.
When new in theaters in 1972, Deliverance the movie was reviewed by both Roger Ebert and by Vincent Canby (New York Times) As I can't quote their copyrighted material here, I hope you will find their reviews easily on the internet and look the reviews over. Deliverance the James Dickey novel from 1970. on which the movie is based, has been reviewed as a Freudian odyssey-novel.....plus being considered one of 100 best novels of some kind. An accolade with which I disagree. As to Freud, well, Freud is said to be a fraud who altered his research findings to get them published.
In conclusion, the best things about this movie are skilled acting and skilled photography, plus spectacular scenery. The scenery was created by God, and used by James Dickey. And Dickey uses you, too, every time you watch this.
The movie falls apart after the first very dramatic death by arrow. It then goes on its own momentum burying bodies. I am sorry Mr. Dickey couldn't invent more for his characters to do. Photography great.