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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Deliverance (1972)

Four city dwellers (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to take a weekend canoe journey down a remote Georgia river that is scheduled to be flooded for the construction of a dam. What was supposed to be a "fun" weekend turns into a weekend of terror. Based on the novel by James Dickey (who has a small role as the sheriff in the film) and directed by John Boorman (POINT BLANK). At the time of its release, the film seemed to be saying something significant about man and nature, civilized man vs. primal man, etc. In that respect, it hasn't held up well. What still works is a taut and tense outdoor action thriller and on that level, Boorman and company have a lot to be proud of. Voight and Reynolds are just fine though in Reynolds' case, it seems more of a case of screen presence than actual acting ability. The two standout performances belong to Beatty and Cox in smaller roles. Beatty's rape scene has lost none of its horror and indeed, on some level the film itself might be considered a horror film. A huge plus is the cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond wide screen Panavision lensing which captures both the stunning beauty and terrifying nature of the Northeastern Georgia wild. 

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