Deliverance

1972

Deliverance

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 57
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Movie Info

Adapted from James Dickey's popular novel, John Boorman's 1972 movie recounts the grueling psychological and physical journey taken by four city slickers down a river in the backwoods of Georgia. At the behest of Iron John-esque Lewis (Burt Reynolds), the less adventuresome Ed (Jon Voight), Bobby (Ned Beatty), and Drew (Ronny Cox) agree to canoe down an uncharted section of the river before a dam project ruins the region. After warnings from the grimy, impoverished locals, and Drew's tuneful yet ominous "Dueling Banjos" encounter with a mute inbred boy, the four men embark on their trip, exulting in the beauty of nature and the initial thrill of the rapids. The next day, however, things begin to take a turn for the worse when Bobby and Ed decide to rest on shore after becoming separated from Lewis and Drew. Two rifle-wielding mountain men (Bill McKinney and Herbert "Cowboy" Coward) emerge from the woods, tying up Ed while one of them rapes Bobby and makes him "squeal like a pig." Lewis and Drew rescue them, but the attack irrevocably changes the tenor of the journey. As the river gets rougher and rougher, the men come to nightmarish grips with what it means to survive outside the safety net of "civilization." ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

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Cast

Burt Reynolds
as Lewis Medlock
Jon Voight
as Ed Gentry
Ned Beatty
as Bobby Trippe AKA Chubby
Ronny Cox
as Drew Ballinger
Ed Ramey
as Old Man
Seamon Glass
as First Griner
Randall Deal
as Second Griner
Bill McKinney
as Mountain Man
Lewis Crone
as First Deputy
James Dickey
as Sheriff
Ken Keener
as 2nd Deputy
Johnny Popwell Sr.
as Ambulance Driver
Ed O'Neill
as Highway Patrolman (uncredited)
Macon McCalman
as Deputy Queen
Louise Coldren
as Mrs. Biddiford
Pete Ware
as Taxi Driver
Herbert Coward
as Toothless Man
Hoyt J. Pollard
as Boy at Gas Station
Belinda Beatty
as Martha Gentry
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News & Interviews for Deliverance

Critic Reviews for Deliverance

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (6)

  • Each of the four lead performances is exceptional, none more so than Burt Reynolds' beefy, supercilious Lewis.

    Aug 24, 2008 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • John Boorman's 1972 film of the James Dickey novel has a beautiful visual style that balances the film's machismo message.

    Sep 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • It's the stuff of which slapdash oaters and crime programmers are made but the obvious ambitions of Deliverance are supposed to be on a higher plane.

    Sep 18, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • It's a haunting, nightmarish vision.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A fantasy about violence, not a realistic consideration of it.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • So many of Dickey's lumpy narrative ideas remain in his screenplay that John Boorman's screen version becomes a lot less interesting than it has any right to be.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5

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