Deliverance

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Deliverance is a 1972 American thriller film produced and directed by John Boorman. Principal cast members include Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty in his film debut. The film is based on a 1970 novel of the same name by American author James Dickey, who has a small role in the film as a sheriff. The screenplay was written by Dickey and an uncredited Boorman.

In 2008, Deliverance was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Contents

Plot

Four Atlanta businessmen – Lewis (Reynolds), Ed (Voight), Bobby (Beatty), and Drew (Cox) – decide to canoe down the fictional Cahulawassee River in the remote Georgia wilderness, expecting to have fun and see the glory of nature before the river valley is flooded over by the upcoming construction of a dam and lake. Lewis, an experienced outdoorsman, is the de facto leader. Ed is also a veteran of several trips but lacks Lewis' machismo. Bobby and Drew are novices.

From the start, it is clear the four are aliens in this unknown location. The locals are crude and unimpressed with the presence of outsiders, and the film implies that some of them are inbred. While attempting to secure drivers for their vehicles (to be delivered to the takeout point), Drew briefly connects with a local banjo-playing boy by joining him in an impromptu bluegrass jam. But when the song ends, the boy turns away without saying anything, refusing the impressed Drew's handshake. The four "city boys", as they are called by one of the locals, exhibit a slightly condescending attitude toward the locals; Bobby, in particular, is patronizing.

The men spend the day canoeing down the river in pairs before camping by the riverside at night. Shortly before they retire for bed, Lewis tells the others to be quiet and disappears into the dark woods to investigate a sound he heard. He returns shortly after and says that he didn't find anything. When asked whether he heard "something or someone," he tells them he doesn't know. While traveling the next day, the group's two canoes are briefly separated. Pausing briefly to get their bearings, Bobby and Ed encounter a pair of unkempt hillbillies (Bill McKinney and Herbert 'Cowboy' Coward) emerging from the woods, one wielding a shotgun. Ed speculates that the two locals have a moonshine still hidden in the woods and Bobby amicably offers to buy some, but the hillbillies are not moved and Bobby is forced at gunpoint to strip naked. McKinney's character chases after and physically harasses Bobby as he tries to escape. Bobby's ear is twisted to bring him to his hands and knees, and he is then ordered to "squeal like a pig" as McKinney's character rapes and sodomizes him. Ed is bound to a tree with his own belt, helpless as McKinney's character violently sodomizes Bobby.

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