Deliverance (1972)

I always like it when fellow bloggers talk about movies I have never heard of. During the Movie Confessions Blogathon someone mentioned Deliverance and I didn’t know a thing about it. Of course I immediately checked out IMDB to find out more about it and when I saw it had a good score and Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty were playing in it I became interested in seeing it.

The story of this movie is a very simple one. It’s about four city men who go on a boating trip on a river that will soon disappear because of the creation of a lake. While on the trip they run into trouble with some locals and have to try to finish their boating trip to go home safe. Despite this simple story it was a tense movie to watch. I was constantly wondering what I would be doing to survive and how paranoid I would get. You really get into the mindset of the characters.

Deliverance builds a tense situation by using very simple means, the threat of hostile locals pushes the movie forward. The soundtrack uses a lot of banjo music and it only adds to the atmosphere. Burt Reynolds is very charismatic here, but his fellow actors convince as well. All are men who deal with their fear differently, some by directly attacking it, some by freezing up. It’s violent and full of suspense and had me hooked from the beginning. It is a movie I should have checked out a while ago.

Score: 8

22 thoughts on “Deliverance (1972)

  1. I’ll bite. I think this is one of the best movies ever made. It’s certainly the best in the man vs. wild genre. Get chills every time I watch it. A classic.

  2. Rather coincidentally I just saw this for the first time to, difference is however I knew slightly more about it then you did (I knew about squeal like a pig scene). Anywho I agree, the 70s are known for some great horror (thriller?) films and this is one of them.

  3. Hi, Nostra and company:

    Director Boorman finds the most basic fears, amplifies them wondrously and scarily and lays them out in ‘Deliverance’ for the audience to either explore or run away from. Definitely a film that hits all the right buttons. And made for what would be a week’s catering on a large budgeted film today.

    After seeing this film several times, I did some digging in the realm of ‘An Actor’s got to start somewhere’. And discovered that this was Ned Beatty’s premiere role. Enduring wild Mountain Man, Bill McKinney may not be the most auspicious start. But it did help create a chilling, long remembered, peek through your fingers scene.

  4. This is a fantastic film which still resonates in popular culture today. I usually sing the ‘Duel’ melody whenever I pass through a backwater town in the middle of nowhere! Fantastic acting and direction, one of my favourties for sure.

  5. I enjoyed the suspense of Deliverance . It has a reputation of being controversial, although by todays standards the violence seemed fairly watered down (to use a water metaphor)

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