MOVIE: **** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
John Voight as ED GENTRY
Burt Reynolds as LEWIS MEDLOCK
Ned Beatty as BOBBY TRIPPE
Ronny Cox as DREW BALLINGER
Directed by: John Boorman
Studio: Warner Bros.
BY KEVIN CARR
No movie in the history of American cinema has struck fear in the hearts of men as “Deliverance.” Even today, outside of the revolutionary times of the 1970s, this isn’t the easiest film to watch. Sure, much of it results from the chilling “squeal like a pig” scene, but the unease goes deeper than this. So many of us men have taken camping, hunting and canoe trips into the wilderness. And we have all feared that we might hear the plucking of a banjo in the distance during these trips.
“Deliverance” has been released in a special deluxe edition DVD to put that fear in a new generation. The story follows four suburbanites as their weekend warrior canoe trip in the deep woods of Georgia goes horribly wrong. The new DVD includes a 4-part 35th anniversary retrospective, featuring new interviews with the cast, director John Boorman and James Dickey’s son.
The film itself is an uncomfortable, gritty action flick that is a bit too realistic for many. The key to this film is the pacing, which takes its time but eventually escalates into one of the worst trips a man can take. Watching the film 35 years after its original release shows that the casting was perfect, considering Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox were newcomers to the screen and have become as recognizable as co-stars Burt Reynolds and John Voight.
If you haven’t seen “Deliverance” – or haven’t seen it in a while – it’s worth revisiting. At the very least, it will help you remember how great movies were made without going over the top.
Additional features include a director’s commentary, the 1972 vintage featurette “The Dangerous World of Deliverance” and the original theatrical trailer.