Deliverance (1972)

10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great acting, great looking, great story

Some dismiss the film because of the Squeal-Like-A-Pig scene

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Deliverance

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Drama

Release Date(s):  July 30, 1972

MPAA Rating:  R


The aftermath of one of the roughest scenes on film…but stick with it!

Ed Gentry (Jon Voight), Drew Ballinger (Ronny Cox), Bobby Trippe (Ned Beatty), and Lewis Medlock (Burt Reynolds) decide to canoe the Cahulawasee River before it is dammed and the land disappears.  When a chance encounter with a group of people from the hills leads to a nightmare, the city born men find themselves battling nature and other men to make it down the river.  How far are Ed, Drew, Bobby, and Lewis willing to go to survive?

Deliverance was directed by John Boorman and based on the novel by James Dickey (who also adapted it and appeared as the sheriff near the end of the film).  It was widely critically acclaimed and nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Picture (losing to The Godfather), Best Directing (losing to Cabaret), and Best Film Editing (losing to Cabaret).  It helped make a star out of Burt Reynolds and cemented him as a star of the ’70s and ’80s.


That’s right, I’m pretty bad ass…until my bone pops through my leg!

The elephant in the room when talking about Deliverance is the “squeal like a pig” rape scene in which mountain men capture Jon Voight and Ned Beatty and proceed to rape Beatty while taunting him.  It is too bad because this is a really great movie and many don’t see it because of this scene or mock it because of the scene.  It is a very intense scene in a very intense movie but there is much more to Deliverance than “squeal like a pig” (which was allegedly improvised on the spot).

Deliverance was a great film about how despite advancements in the world, money and wealth can’t purchase and defeat nature.  The four men set off with a conceded perception that since they are educated and wealthy that they can do anything…it turns into the worst trip ever.


The kid from this scene later made a brief cameo in Tim Burton’s “Big Fish”

The rape scene occurs fairly early in the film and actually propels the events that occur throughout the movie.  The film deals with the decisions made by the men after the rape and how they cope with them.  It is this part of the film and the themes it raises when combined with great cinematography that makes Deliverance a film worthy of more than “that rape movie”.

Deliverance is a great movie that looks great and filled with fantastic acting (plus who can forget the fun, but eerie “Dueling Banjos” scene that set the stage for what is to come?).  Dickey was mostly known as a poet, but if he had turned out more works like Deliverance, he might have ended up with a different title.  See Deliverance if you’ve only heard stories about it and keep an open mind.  It is a great film and a great work.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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