DVD Review: Deliverance – 35th Anniversary edition.

“You shore got a purdy mouth.”
”Squeal for me!”

These two lines are from a scene that left all male viewers rocking back and forth in a fetal position, and vowing never to enter the woods again. But to reduce Deliverance to that one scene would be akin to reducing The Graduate to Mrs. Robinson.

In 1972, director John Boorman headed into the wilds of Georgia to make a film from James Dickey’s bestselling novel Deliverance. He had a piddly budget and two of his four principals were making their big screen debut. The shoot was fairly quick, with everyone doing his or her own stunts (despite not having insurance).

The resulting film is one of the best action/adventure genre to date. A film that still stands the test of time after 35 years.

Four buddies from the cities get together for a canoeing trip. Once they get there, they encounter some less than friendly locals. The conflict escalates to the level where none of them get away completely intact.

Boorman does an excellent job of pacing. The film starts out at a rather relaxed pace and slowly builds. Once we hit the second half, it has you by the throat and does not let go until the bitter end.

Deliverance is best known for one particularly brutal (especially for men) scene. But while all know that scene, many have long forgotten (or in the case of younger folk, never having known) just how good a movie this is.

The bonus features are strong, with a four part look at the making of the film. These featurettes offer up comments by Director John Boorman, Christopher Dickey (son of the original novel’s author), all four leads (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox) as well as some from other cast members and crew. These total out around an hour and give us a nice look into the challenges of filming of filming in the woods of northern Georgia.

Also included is a new commentary track from the director. This is interesting as it also talks about the issues they faced making it on a shoestring budget completely on location in the middle of nowhere.

But the extras are not the reason to buy this; the reason to buy it is that you are getting a true classic. One you will almost certainly want to watch again and again.

Order Deliverance from Amazon.
Jeremy Lynch
For more reviews from myself, and the rest of the Crimespree crew, check out the index of reviews.