Deliverance

1972

Deliverance

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 58

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,353
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Deliverance Photos

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 (58) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (4)

  • 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

Audience Reviews for Deliverance

  • Apr 26, 2015
    Really really memorable and menacingly powerful, Deliverance succeeds in doing the hard job of creating a film that is both terrifying and not really a horror film. I wouldn't give it five stars as the film is so harrowing that its really not one of the most enjoyable films that one could decide to watch. John Boorman does well in composing an envious addition to his frame of work in motion directing, gracefully tracking the canoe as it parades down Georgian rivers. Its mildly exploitave plot can be forgiven by its tasteful production.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2013
    I don't think it ages well.
    Cita W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 17, 2013
    Four friends explore the whitewater rapids of country backwoods, but their fishing trip turns tragic when one of their members is sexually assaulted. In what could be a cliche horror/slasher film, <i>Deliverance</i> explores themes of civilization and ethical dilemmas. The scenes between the backwoods, redneck natives and the cultured, civilized explorers take on a unique significance because we're meant to question the characterizations with which we approach these people. Are the civilized really that civilized? Does one have to respond to violence with violence in a violent context? Strong performances by Jon Voight, whose character acts as a kind of moral center to the film (the film is - in some ways - a battle for Ed's soul), and Burt Reynolds, the adaptable tough guy, carry the film. Overall, this is a classic for good reason, a film that takes serious issues with the gravity they deserve.
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2013
    Deliverance is harsh. it is of course the canoe trip that you don't want to find yourself trapped in..one through the dark side of America. Scenes stick in your memory that perhaps you would rather they do not. It nonetheless does not detract from the stunning visuals.
    John B Super Reviewer

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