What's so great about the movie "Deliverance?"


Wait a minute

The young man with the banjo *was * a local, was not mentally retarded, and was not *actually * playing that banjo?

Is that what you are saying? :stuck_out_tongue:


I think Gilbert was talking about the film’s internal logic, not the script logic.

It didn’t stop him from having a succesful career in politics.

Sure, but that’s a far cry from being a major work of cinema. It’s chiefly remembered because of it’s gimmick: the man-on-man rape scene. It’s larger themes and messages aren’t well remembered, and it’s impact on the cinema in general, in terms of influence on other films or filmmakers, is questionable. There are some films that must be viewed in order to fully understand American cinema. This isn’t one of them. It’s not a bad movie by any means, but it is a minor movie.

Case in point.

In film making they have an item known as a ‘script’
This ties into a story board that the ‘director’ is running to.

When did you think the Appalachian “extras” chose to sodomise Ned Beatty for a giggle, make piggy noises and giggle about it afterwards while the film crew just left the film rolling. :dubious:

I’m intrigued.

He was also in the movie Big Fish (plunking out the first few chords of Duelin’ Banjos). He said Burton allowed him to keep the banjo from that movie and he’s since learned to play it a little. He does not have fond recollections of the movie Deliverance and has said that had he known of the Beatty scene he wouldn’t have appeared in it. (He’s not a professional actor- for a while he worked at a Waffle House like restaurant in suburban Atlanta- but he does have an upcoming movie [his third]).

Do they speak English in “The young man with the banjo was a local, was not mentally retarded, and was not actually playing that banjo (someone else’s arm was used during the “Dueling Banjos” scene)” ?

Anyway, you can get away with all kinds of regional slander as long as you call your work an “allegory”.

I’m intrigued too.

Was Godfried asking about the writer’s and director’s motivation in writing the script, or the characters’ motivation in doing what they did in the story?


Would you care to eloborate? I remember when The Blair Witch Project came out, and in case you haven’t seen it the movie involved young people lost in the wilderness, and a very common criticism was the unbelievability of the fact that none of them seemed to have cell phones. Even today I meet people my age who have never spent a few days in the wilderness aside from a cabin in the woods somewhere.


What starts out as a buddies’ river rafting trip turns into a fight to survive, with brute force against brute force and more than one person ending up dead. The scene with Voight on the side of the mountain is extremely tense, as are some of the river scenes and the part where Voight is being menaced right after Beatty’s degradation at the hands of their captors.
Obviously, the survivors will never be the same after their harrowing experiences.

You’re still not getting it.

When someone asks why something happened in a movie, the answer is always “Because that’s how the scriptwriter wrote it.” Consequently, this is almost never what a person means when he asks why something happened in a movie. When Gilbert Gottfried asked why the two crazy hillbillies attacked a guy on a canoe trip, he wants to know why in the context of the fictional narrative world of the movie did those two characters take that particular action. He’s not asking why Bill McKinney and Herbert Coward pretended to sodomize Ned Beatty. He’s asking why “Toothless Man” and “Mountain Man” raped Bobby Trippe.

See the difference?

Basically just the characters. I don’t remember it word for word but it was something like “Why would you choose Ned Beatty when you could have Burt Reynolds or Jon Voight? I’m not even gay and if I had Jon Voight in my room it would be all over. Why choose Ned Beatty? I just don’t understand it.”

(It help if you imagine Gilbert Gottfried’s voice)

I’ll admit to being a fan of the movie - for what it’s worth, I’m 26 and from a rural (though not that rural) area. I didn’t actually see the whole thing until a couple of years ago, but of course I knew of the rape scene. At any rate, I’d say it’s a good movie. I’ll agree that it’s not a must-see for American cinema, but I thought it held up well and did more to scare me than, say, Jason movies.

(I agree, too, with the poster who said us young folks don’t really know what life would be like without the web, cell phones, check cards, navigation systems, iPods, etc. I’m not all that technically savvy or trendy, but it’s tough for me to imagine being in the Deliverance situation.)

At any rate, I think the characters chose Ned because what they were really out to do was ‘break’ Jon Voight. It wasn’t so much because they wanted to fuck Ned - rape isn’t about the sex, right? It’s more about the power. The whole idea was to force Voight to watch them rape Ned. It was obvious that Voight’s character was the stronger of the two, emotionally. They wanted him tied to the tree watching. I got the impression that he would have been next, anyway, and the hillbillies knew it would be more effective to let him see what they’d be doing to him next.

That scene, to me, is more about Jon Voight.

Idunno, it made sense to me, but understand that different people see a scene in different ways.

It’s also the case, IIRC, that Burt came along after Beatty & Voight ran into the hillbillies. I seem to remember Voight watching Burt & Cox sliding silently by and watching them closely as Voght was being tied to the tree. Still, I think it’s true that the relative attractiveness of their victims had little to do with the miscreants’ behavior. They were just mean sumbitches taking fun in humiliating and terrorizing their victims before robbing and murdering them, which was surely their intent.

That’s true. Burt shot one of them with a bow right after he said to Jon Voight, “You’ve got a real purdy mouth.”


I know that. My question was rhetorical.


If anyone wants further information on Bill McKinney, the guy who played the rapist, you can visit his official website:


I just thought I’d share that.

Wow, who’d have thought he’d have had such a career. Thanks for the link.

I’d never seen the movie before getting the DVD a few years ago, but I really liked it, and do consider it an important film of the 1970s.

There was a serious WTF moment on the disc for me. In a making-of feature, Dickey himself said of Voight’s character that the events of the story unmasked a primal violence within him, and revealed him to be a savage, calculating killer.

Which is clearly not anywhere near the case, at least in the movie. I haven’t read the book, so don’t know if it’s true there, but if so, Boorman’s vision is very different (and much more interesting, IMHO) from Dickey’s.

I only saw the movie once, about 25 years ago, on latenight broadcast TV so presumably it was edited to within an inch of its life.

That said I think it is a good movie. One part that has stuck with me is the seemingly long debate the city men have about what to do with the 1st body. IIRC Ronnie Cox thinks they should tell the authorities and trust to justice. Burt Reynolds (who has more to worry about than the rest of them) is arguing strongly against it. As I listened I found myself saying “well, he has a point”. Then the other guy would talk and I said “well, he has a point too!”.

I also think it is interesting that Cox ends up being killed. The most moral of the four is seemingly punished for his ideals. Then the other three have to hide ANOTHER body, and escalate their lie to the outside world. Powerful stuff.