DELIVERANCE [1972 / 2022] [50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook] [Blu-ray] [UK Release] Where does the camping trip end . . . and the nightmare begin . . .?

Four Atlanta businessmen decide to prove that the frontier spirit is not dead by spending a canoeing weekend shooting the rapids of a soon-to-be destroyed river high in the Appalachians deep in the woods of Georgia. What begins as a weekend adventure becomes a desperate battle for survival when they’re confronted by the terrors of the raging river and brutal assailants in this three-time Oscar® nominated classic film. Selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in the USA in 2008. ‘DELIVERANCE’ remains as beautiful and visceral as ever, but it is also very haunting, and nightmarish vision. 

FILM FACT No.1: Awards and Nominations: 1972 Faro Island Film Festival: Win: Golden Moon Award for Grand Jury Prize for John Boorman. Nominated: Golden Moon Award for Best Film for John Boorman. 1972 National Board of Review, USA: Win: NBR Award for Top Ten Films. 1973 Academy Awards®: Nominated: Best Picture for John Boorman. Nominated: Best Director for John Boorman. Nominated: Best Film Editing for Tom Priestley. 1973 BAFTA Film Awards: Nominated: Best Film Editing for Tom Priestley. Nominated: Best Sound Track for Doug E. Turner, Jim Atkinson and Walter Goss. 1973 Directors Guild of America: Nominated: DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures for John Boorman. 1973 Golden Globes: Nominated: Best Motion Picture in a Drama. Nominated: Best Actor in a Motion Picture in a Drama for Jon Voight. Nominated: Best Director in a Motion Picture for John Boorman. Nominated: Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture for James Dickey. Nominated:  Best Original Song in a Motion Picture for Arthur Smith (music), Steve Mandell (adaptation) and Eric Weissberg (adaptation) for the Song: “Dueling Banjos.” 1973 Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD) Awards: Nominated: ‘DELIVERANCE’ Best Foreign Film [9th Place]. 1973 Writers Guild of America: Nominated: WGA Award (Screen) for Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium for James Dickey. 2008 National Film Preservation Board, USA: Win: National Film Registry for the film ‘DELIVERANCE.’

FILM FACT No.2: ‘DELIVERANCE’ was shot primarily in Rabun County in north-eastern Georgia. The canoe scenes were filmed in the Tallulah Gorge southeast of Clayton and on the Chattooga River. This river divides the north-eastern corner of Georgia from the north-western corner of South Carolina. Additional scenes were shot in Salem, South Carolina. A scene was also shot at the Mount Carmel Baptist Church cemetery. This site has since been flooded and lies 130 feet (40 m) under the surface of Lake Jocassee, on the border between Oconee and Pickens counties in South Carolina. The dam shown under construction is Jocassee Dam near Salem, South Carolina. During the filming of the canoe scene, author James Dickey showed up inebriated and entered into a bitter argument occurred with producer/director John Boorman, who had rewritten James Dickey's script. They allegedly had a brief fistfight in which John Boorman, a much smaller man than James Dickey, suffered a broken nose and four shattered teeth. James Dickey was thrown off the set, but no charges were filed against him. The two reconciled and became good friends, and John Boorman gave James Dickey a cameo role as the sheriff at the end of the film. The inspiration for the Cahulawassee River was the Coosawattee River, which was dammed in the 1970’s and contained several dangerous white-water rapids before being flooded by Carters Lake. Casting was by Lynn Arlen Stalmaster. Author James Dickey had initially wanted Sam Peckinpah to direct the film. James Dickey also wanted Gene Hackman to portray Ed Gentry whereas John Boorman wanted Lee Marvin to play the role.  John Boorman also wanted Marlon Brando to play Lewis Medlock. Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of Ed Gentry, while both Donald Sutherland and Charlton Heston turned down the role of Lewis Medlock. Other actors who were considered for the film included Robert Redford, Henry Fonda, George C. Scott and Warren Beatty.

Cast: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden, Seamon Glass, Randall Deal, Bill McKinney, Herbert 'Cowboy' Coward, Lewis Crone, Ken Keener, Johnny Popwell, John Fowler, Kathy Rickman, Louise Coldren, Peter Ware, James Dickey, Macon McCalman, Hoyt Pollard, Belinda Beatty and Charley Boorman

Director: John Boorman

Producers: Charles Orme (uncredited) and John Boorman

Screenplay: James Dickey (novel/screenplay) and John Boorman (additional dialogue) (uncredited)

Cinematography: Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography)

Image Resolution: 1080p (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Panavision Anamorphic)

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
French: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono Audio
German: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono Audio
Italian: 1.0 Dolby Digital Audio
Spanish [Castilian]: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono Audio
Spanish [Latin]: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio
English: 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo Audio

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish [Castilian], Dutch, Danish, Spanish [Latin], Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish

Running Time: 109 minutes

Region: All Regions

Number of discs: 1

Studio: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review: “We’re gonna rape this whole goddamn landscape. We’re gonna rape it!” Those are among the first words we hear in ‘DELIVERANCE’ [1972], spoken by Burt Reynolds’ as Lewis Medlock, an outdoorsman bemoaning the degradation that suburban sprawl has wrought upon the wilderness where he likes to spend his weekends. Lewis Medlock’s particularly upset about the construction of a hydroelectric dam, which will flood the pristine river valley that he and three other Atlanta men are off to explore by canoe for the weekend. As the movie proceeds, what’s being raped — and who’s doing the raping — will be in flux, metaphorically and literally.

With the film ‘DELIVERANCE,’ we see four men leave their wives and urban lives behind them for a weekend of canoeing down the swift waters of the Chattoga River in Georgia. ‘DELIVERANCE’ is an adventure story that transports us into a rugged struggle for survival in the mountains. It is also a moral parable about civilized men who are toughened and tried by the laws of the wilderness.

Lewis Medlock, the sportsman leader of the foursome, sees the trip as a challenge to his survival abilities. Lewis Medlock chides the others for their physical flabbiness and philosophizes that modern man must exercise his prowess against nature if he is to conquer the future: “I think the machines are going to fail, the political systems are going to fail and a few men are going to take to the hills and start over.” Ironically enough, the untamed area they are bound for is about to be made into a dam.

The other three members of the party are less philosophical. In the beginning they are quite upended by their treatment at the hands of some gruff mountain men who must be bribed to drive the city slickers' cars down to the next town. But once in two canoes and on the water, they begin to catch the thrill of conquering the rapids and making it over rock-razored falls. Staking camp, Ed Gentry [Jon Voight], Bobby Trippe [Ned Beatty], and Drew Ballinger [Ronny Cox] take   their cues from Lewis Medlock. The next morning Ed Gentry rises early and goes with his bow-and-arrow into the woods. Ed Gentry spots a deer and aims but misses his target due to a bad case of the shakes. Embarrassed he returns to camp. Lewis Medlock — without a word — realizes his failure.

Leading the other two down the stream, Ed Gentry and Bobby Trippe have pulled their canoe to the shore when they are waylaid by two mountain men. While one holds a gun on them, the other ties Ed Gentry to a tree. Then the mountain man sodomizes Bobby Trippe forcing him to kneel on all fours and in a very menace way demands Bobby Trippe “Squeal like a Pig.” The scene is one of absolute terror — an ungodly confrontation between city-slickers and primitive rednecks who live by the predatory laws of the wilderness. Before they can violate Ed Gentry, Lewis Medlock appears with Drew Ballinger and they kill the rapist, shooting an arrow through his back. It is a total dance of death as the other mountain man flees leaving his dying friend to slowly and sadly to expire.

The men are now completely paralyzed with fright. Drew Ballinger argues that they must report the death to the law. Lewis Medlock declares that in a trial by city-hating hicks, he could not receive a fair hearing. Ed Gentry and Bobby Trippe side with Lewis Medlock. They bury their friend’s body and go on with their journey.

But the nightmare of testing is not over. In a treacherous stretch of rapids, Drew Ballinger falls out into the water and both canoes capsize. Lewis Medlock gashes his thigh and is incapacitated. Is the partner of the slain mountaineer pursuing them? Was Drew Ballinger shot? The psychology of fear that now grips Ed Gentry and Bobby Trippe does not have any answers. The peril of the situation forces Ed Gentry to seek out the gunman on the cliff. Mobilizing his animal instincts, Ed Gentry becomes obsessed as the hunter and killer. Ed Gentry’s ritual of survival culminates in the death of the gunman. Downstream they talk their way out of the two murders and return home as totally different men after their horrendous and monumental ordeal.

The film insinuates its way totally into your mind. It is not without flaws: the finale is forced and ineffective; Burt Reynolds is more an argument than a character; and the treatment of the mountain folk in the early sequences seems patronizing and stereotypical. Yet, in spite of these faults, the film is a first-rate example of what could be called a moral suspense story. Guilt, innocence, truth, deceit — these are inner explorations that makes the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ much more than an adventure story.

Directed by John Boorman and adapted by James Dickey from his original novel. Once again the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ indulges in an idyllic section of natural beauty, with the men in awe at the wonders around them and exhilarated by their successful navigation of a series of rapids. That night they camp — Bobby Trippe, notably, is the one to make sexual jokes around the fire — and wake up to a pristine forest morning. Ed Gentry tiptoes out of camp early with his bow to do some hunting, but when he comes face to face with a deer, his hand trembles so badly that his errant arrow falls limply to the forest floor.

The award-winning novel by James Dickey, who is a man who thrives on adventure and exploration; he has been a World War II fighter pilot, and an advertising executive, and a teacher. The lyrical keenness of his moral vision and the fast-paced suspense of his novel have been translated to the screen by director John Boorman and brilliantly captures the sinister quality of the mountain countryside and makes the menace of the river and the rapids a total nightmare terror rather than an idyllic picturesque pleasantry in the film ‘DELIVERANCE.’


DUELLING BANJOS [Written by Arthur Smith] (uncredited) (Arranged and played by Eric Weissberg with Steve Mandell)

MOONSHINER [Written by Bob Dylan]

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Blu-ray Image Quality – Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. presents us the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ with a brilliant 1080p image and is shown in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I can say that this edition looks pretty stunning in itself. Flesh tones appear natural, contrast is a little on the bright side due to the many outdoor scenes, black levels are inky and consistent without crushing, and the colour levels are just right. For this 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Warner Bros.  Entertainment Inc. has given us the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ the image quality it deserves. It’s a total winner!

Blu-ray Audio Quality – Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. brings us the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ with a wonderful 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio experience. The sound quality on this Blu-ray may be a bit on the dated side, but that’s the inherent source of the Foley effects and not the actual quality of the lossless track. Dialogue does sound crystal clear and is heavily fronted. The rear-channels do house the many ambient effects the great outdoors have to offer along with the occasional critter rustling about. It’s during the scenes of despair that feature our heroes plunging through the rapids at high speed that the sound quality takes a nose dive. Good thing that it does clears up as soon as they come out of the water. All in all a good upgrade from previous Blu-ray releases.

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Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Special Feature: Audio Commentary by Director John Boorman [2007] [1080p] [2.35:1] [108:49] Here we are introduced by director John Boorman and welcomes us to his personal audio commentary for the film ‘DELIVERANCE,’ which he personally directed and produced the film. John Boorman says the story is about the river that is going to be damned and killed really, and these four men are going down river to canoe it before the river disappears forever. Originally John Boorman says the studio wanted to do this picture if you can find two stars, so John Boorman went out looking and found two stars, but the studio said those two particular stars were too expensive, so you have to go out and look for two cheap stars, so John Boorman went all over America to scout for two actors, especially theatre actors and eventually John Boorman found two actors and they were Ned Beatty and Ronnie Cox and neither of them had made a film before or appear on television and these two unknown actors John Boorman could find in his search for two main roles in the film, John Boorman also contacted Jon Voight, but he resisted the offer at first, but after some tricky negotiation and persuading and especially with the fact that Jon Voight had just finished a really disastrous film, there and then agreed to be in the film and told John Boorman that he had saved his life. Eventually John Boorman contacted Burt Reynolds who had just completed three TV series back to back that were totally unsuccessful, even though John Boorman did not know this information at the time, so despite this, offered Burt Reynolds the part in the film, but in the meantime the kept dropping the budget as they wanted to make it dirt cheap. So John Boorman went back to the drawing board and came up with an even cheaper money offer, which John Boorman does not inform us what the studio’s reaction was to dirt cheap budget, but I assume they did except John Boorman’s offer. John Boorman mentions the scene where the two vehicles arrive at the petrol station and they encounter the duelling banjo boy, who seems rather retarded and John Boorman says that the banjo music is a traditional music genre of that part of America. John Boorman gets to talk about releasing the “Duelling Banjo” music we see in the film onto a record release and went to the recording studio with what they had recorded and when the film was finally released, John Boorman tried to persuade Warner Bros. Records to release the “Duelling Banjo” onto a single, and the head of Warner Bros. Records gave John Boorman a lecture on the music business and this music was not Rock ‘n’ Roll and radio stations will not play that record and it will not be successful, so eventually John Boorman finally persuaded them to release in a limited pressing and was an almighty hit, as all the radio stations in America played it constantly and became a No.1 chart hit record and of course now become a very famous recording. Where they filmed the scene at the remote petrol station all the people who live in that remote part of America were original Hillbilly people and of course it is known for the terrible inbreeding  of the people and the history is that original white people married native Americans who were ostracised and rejected by their race and had to turn into themselves because of the hostile reactions of the native Indian community. John Boorman thought actor Burt Reynolds was extraordinary in this film and suited his personality and did not take himself too seriously and John Boorman thought that his character was so ideal for his character in the film. John Boorman talks about James Dickey and his story that what he wrote in the novel actually happened to him, but after some time John Boorman and everyone else realised that what he had written in the novel was all made up, but of course John Boorman and everyone else never mentioned that his novel was pure fantasy, they all just played along with James Dickey to keep him on their side as he had a very menacing belligerent attitude. With the rehearsals were on going, John Boorman asked James Dickey to play the sheriff because they could not find a suitable actor to play the sheriff and informed him that you just have to let us get on with the film as time is money and you cannot interfere if you are not happy with anything, and James Dickey glared at John Boorman and took the director down to the rehearsal room and stood there glaring at everyone and said to everyone, “It appears my presence will be most efficacious by my absence,” and turned on his heels and walked out of the room and everyone breathed a sigh of relief and after some tricky persuasion James Dickey came back to play the sheriff. When the film opened in Atlanta with a premiere and standing next to Burt Reynolds was James Dickey and a radio reporter came up to both of them with a microphone and said to both of them, “Mr. Reynolds, I understand you had problems with Mr. Dickey,” and Burt Reynolds answered back, “Well, yes I did, but I also believe Mr. Dickey is one of America’s greatest poet,” and the reporter said, “What do you think of that Mr. Dickey,” and Mr. Dickey replied, “Well I don’t know how many there are of America’s greatest poets, but Mr. Reynolds has read them.” John Boorman says Burt Reynolds character is sort of reckless and you also see the four characters, in a sense were four aspects of James Dickey’s personality. When Burt Reynolds gets out of the vehicle and gets up the bank to finally see the river, is a very powerful scene, because they know eventually it will disappear because of the dam, which is going to be used for all American’s air conditioning units, so all in all, the river is being killed. John Boorman chose this river because it has all these dangerous rapids and jagged rocks to make what you see is nature’s natural environment and John Boorman also says that it was the most dangerous river in America at the time, even though when you first view it, it looks pretty. So when you see the two canoes, one is aluminium and the other one is a traditional wooden canoe which is all part of the story and in fact they used five wooden canoes that all got smashed up, because again of the storyline, because if both canoes had been aluminium you would not of gotten to view the dangerous scene in the film, and even though the other canoe was aluminium, it in fact got seriously damaged going over the jagged rocks. But John Boorman says that how do we get four actors who have never been in a canoe before and informed the actors to do just your best and just shoot the rapids, and they just turned their backs on John Boorman and had pure white faces and just went totally silent on John Boorman and just got in the two canoes and set off. When you see the two canoes and the camera is near the water line and it was done with three in a dingy filming very low and the rest of the crew were left behind and John Boorman wanted you to feel what it would be like if you was in one of those canoes, and the two canoes and the dingy went down the rapids together so as to get the real dramatic footage, so that John Boorman lets you see what the actors are experiencing, so the actors were not upset anymore. When you see the banjo boy on the bridge and the two actors in one of the canoe see him watching them and wave to him, John Boorman thought this was a very touching scene and thinks this boy had some secret knowledge in knowing what is going to happen to those four men in their canoes, and felt it was very dynamic. After the film was released, John Boorman says that a lot of people wanted to also go down this river and several people actually got drowned and was asked how he felt about that, and did he feel responsible about this very tragic event, and he replied back by saying, “I tried to make the river very dangerous and life threatening as possible, so that anyone who canoed it, must know what to expect.” John Boorman says that Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty did very well in their aluminium and that Jon Voight and Ronny Cox made a lot of mistakes, but at one point Ned Beatty fell in the water and was underwater for a couple of minutes, so John Boorman got a diver to go underwater and find out what had happened to Ned Beatty and eventually Ned Beatty popped up to the surface and apologised and so Ned Beatty was able to carry on filming the rapid scenes. One thing we find out is that Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography) and John Boorman fell in the river now and again and of course was desperate to avoid the camera ending up in the river and they had a technical cameraman there to help out to fry the camera out as it did get wet now and again. Another thing John Boorman informs us is that they had no doubles or stuntmen for the four actors because John Boorman wanted the scenes with the four actors to look like real life and John Boorman also made sure the four actors were not in any serious danger, but out of all the four actors Burt Reynolds was determined to do everything himself. John Boorman says the rapid scenes were filmed as it happened, whereas other directors would have done those scenes out of sequence. Another thing John Boorman says is that he hired Ronnie Cox because he could actually play the guitar and of course it was very important part of the storyline in the film, also John Boorman talks about the four men camped for the night and away from civilisation and they are all free of it, and in other words, they are delivered from it and that is where the title of the film comes from that comment   and we the audience know that something really nasty is going to happen to these four naïve city boys and that nobody also knows where they are, which is also menacing and these four actors show very well in the camp that they think someone is watching them and you can see it is in the four actors faces with fear. John Boorman again talks about the low budget for the film and talks about that scene with the young boy on the bridge and the two canoes pass under him, well that wooden bridge was built by a local person and he had an assistant who went out scouting for people to appear in the film and also fixing things, but again John Boorman talks about Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography) who was originally born in Szeged, Hungary, the son of Bozena an administrator, Vilmos Zsigmond along with his friend and fellow student László Kovács, borrowed a 35-millimeter camera from their school and chronicled the events of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution in Budapest by hiding the camera in a shopping bag and shooting footage through a hole they had cut in the bag with the Russian tanks rolling in to Budapest and shoeing the students throwing Molotov cocktails at the invading tanks. The two men shot thirty thousand feet of film and escaped to Austria shortly afterwards. In 1958 Vilmos Zsigmond and László Kovács arrived in the United States as political refugees and sold the footage to CBS for a network documentary on the revolution narrated by Walter Cronkite. John Boorman felt if Vilmos Zsigmond can survive that tumultuous event then Vilmos Zsigmond is the man to shoot this film. When we see Jon Voight using the bow and arrow to shoot the deer and gives up eventually, I thought this was totally ridiculous because if he did kill the deer so how the hell was they going transport the dead deer in the canoes because it would not of made the journey and would start to rot because of the dramatic scenes especially with their wooden canoe splits in two and of course the deer would of ended up in the river and left to rot, so all in all would have been a totally pointless exercise in killing an innocent deer, But of course later on Jon Voight eventually does shoot an arrow and kills one of the nasty evil mountain man. At chapter 12 at 33:33 we now come to that notorious par in the film with the two menacing mountain men and John Boorman says that Bill McKinney who plays the rapist was a marvellous actor and the build up to the actual notorious rape scene was filmed in one go and goes on for just over four minutes and of course they did rehearse the scene beforehand to get it right all morning and then filmed the one shot in the afternoon and as you will notice all four actors stay in the frame so to build up the tension and to also make the audience feel the tension also, and John Boorman wanted the mountain men to be like molevenant  spirit of the forest and wishing evil or harm to another or others; and it is natures revenge on the people destroying the river. John Boorman talks about how the saying “Sequel like a Pig” came about and had to shoot that scene four ways so one scene that does not look so graphic that could not be shown on American television and especially with the gratuitous language and John Boorman got his way and the notorious scene was shown on American television and also praises Ned Beatty for his acting performance for that notorious rape scene and Ned Beatty and Bill McKinney spent some time together to get the scene exactly right, even though they were slightly nervous on that they had to perform and eventually through trial and error. John Boorman got it filmed how he wanted it to be filmed and John Boorman basically says what we see is what Jon Voight is watching and is helpless to help Ned Beatty. When Burt Reynolds shoots his arrow into Bill McKinney brought on a moral discussion and the censor wanted to cut the scene with the arrow through Bill McKinney because they felt the scene went on too long, whereas when a man gets shot they did not mind that, but John Boorman felt Bill McKinney had real discipline and control over his body and he held his breath completely and did not blink for two minutes because he trained himself to play that part in the film and when you see Bill McKinney collapse on the branch of the tree he is very convincing us he was dead and John Boorman thinks Bill McKinney did a really brilliant piece of acting and these are the qualities you look for in an actor and it is not how you say your lines, it is all about gestures and movement and real convictions. While the four actors decide what to do with the dead body, John Boorman says look at Bill McKinney because he held that still position with the discussion went on around him for a whole two minutes while holding his breath and not moving any part of his body and interestingly enough is the fact that this film was before CGI was conceived and people are cynical today and when they see something astonishing with a film they think it has been done on a computer like you see the arrow in Bill McKinney and of course there was an edit so you do not see he has been fitted with a false arrow of course which of course looks so very convincing. When you see Bill McKinney finally being buried and you see again a tribute to Bill McKinney that he had to endure being buried and again he had to hold his breath for a long time as the earth is dragged over his whole body. John Boorman says that he wanted to film ‘DELIVERANCE’ in anamorphic which is the aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and John Boorman really loves this aspect ratio because it give you a distance between characters and you are able to open up the frame and especially when it came to filming the landscape in this picture and the river is one of the characters which is always present with this film and there is always space for it, and John Boorman also says that they had a lens for this picture that was specially developed for the film which was a gyroscopic lens which floats so it would help us to film on the river where there are lots of agitation and movement, but the slightly downside is that it smoothed things out too much and it looked too pleasant and this was before the Steadicam came out which of course was a brand of camera stabilizer mounts for motion picture cameras invented by Garrett Brown and introduced in 1975 by Cinema Products Corporation and It mechanically isolates the camera from the operator's movement, allowing for a smooth shot, even when the operator moves over an irregular surface. John Boorman says that the interesting thing about the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ is that it takes place wholly on the river and the clothes the actors wear are clothes you can wear today and doesn’t seem to be aged and to think the film is now well over 30 years old and to John Boorman it looks like it was filmed last year. John Boorman also talks about the actor Ronnie Cox whose character thinks he is a dead man because of the killing pf the mountain man and having to bury him in a shallow grave and sort of feels betraying himself and John Boorman wanted to scene of Ronnie Cox falling into the river to be totally ambiguous because you do not quite know if he has been actually shot or just falls into the river and has given up on life in a certain way out of a kind of despair in being complicit in the murdering of the mountain man. But when you see the actors fall into the torrent of the rapids and you see Burth Reynolds had broken his leg, this is where Jon Voight takes control of the situation and now becomes the leader. John Boorman thinks that seeing the broken guitar is something quite moving and is quite iconic and relates to what the four men had to endure crashing down the torrential rapids and shows you how these three men just have to survive to the end of their journey and the harsh elements. John Boorman says that the cast and the crew really bonded together really well, especially in the wilds of America and at night they just had to cope with their cuts and bruises and have a couple of bears and talk about their experiences and was like a military operation and there was a great affection with everyone and also a great support for each other and to think this was Ned Beatty’s first major film and especially being plunged into this film and especially the dramatic events that happened to all four actors and Ned Beatty informed John Boorman that other films he has appeared in were vert tepid compared to appearing in the film ‘DELIVERANCE.’ When you see Jon Voight climbing up the sheer rock face, it was filmed in the daytime but had to look like it was filmed in the evening and what John Boorman did was to print a negative into a positive, but with CGI today you can do a much better job. But when you see Jon Voight climbing up it looks totally hazardous, but in reality Jon Voight was fitted with a harness and was still a very tough assignment for Jon Voight. When Jon Voight reaches the top and gets out his wallet and opens it up and we see a photo of a woman and a young boy, well John Boorman informs us that picture of the young boy was his three year old son when the photo was taken. But after the mountain man is shot with the arrow by Jon Voight and we see the mountain man tied up with stones and is dumped in the river and the other two men set off in the aluminium with injured Burt Reynolds to take him to the hospital and you see the river widening, but have one more great rapids to negotiate especially with Burt Reynolds in serious pain and then suddenly they come upon the dead Ronnie Cox in a very precarious position with his arm over his shoulder which Ronnie Cox to John Boorman that it was a party trick he has perfected because he is double jointed and amazingly is the fact that Ronnie Cox had to play dead and John Boorman says that when he looks at the film now that the commitment and the acting in this picture was extraordinary and John Boorman felt so lucky to have these dedicated actors who were prepared to do certain scenes in the film, and when Ronnie Cox is tied up with rocks to be lowered into the river, John Boorman felt it was a very touching scene. Again John Boorman chose the particular the Cahulawassee River because of the extraordinary massive rock formation that just stick out of the water like angry swords and the whole river felt like a totally nasty hostile threatening air to it. John Boorman talks about the film editor Tom Priestley who is the son of J.B. Priestley who was one of England's greatest writers who was a member of the last generation of freethinking British “sages” who contemplated both science and philosophy in their literary output and on top of all that, John Boorman informs us that he likes to shoot very little film and also very few takes and it all helped with the editing of the film so much more smoothly done and also helped with the fact that John Boorman tends to like to do lots of rehearsals because he get thing just right and he tries to get everyone to realise what the film is all about and every time the cameras are shooting a particular scene and likes to not tell anyone the shot was a great success and this makes the actors react with tension that John Boorman really likes. When the three actors in the aluminium canoe arrives at the end of their journey, John Boorman says that the old rusty vehicles we see were dumped on the river bank by the director and he felt it represented the three actors were now back to civilisation and is in a very ironic way and the three actors are thrilled to see to see these old rusty wrecks and indicates that they have arrived back into their world of civilisation and the joy they feel that they have beaten the odds. Some of the people at Warner Bros. felt that this was the end of the film and they had come out of their nightmare, but to John Boorman the scenes that followed this where they narrowly avoided being arrested and we see the effect that this experience has had on their personalities are the best scenes for John Boorman in the picture and John Boorman was very insistent to show the reaction of the actors at the joy of surviving the nightmare  and there was a feeling this part of the film was anticlimactic and especially personally for John Boorman with the scenes with the river slowly getting flooded and especially communities are sinking below the water line and also the water is very placid, dead and tamed, and feels it is sacrilegious about killing a river and there is something raw and crude about a dam and making huge barrage. As we get near to the end of the film John Boorman feels there is a change of style editing of the film and now we have entered a softer world and using dissolves so that it becomes a kind of green light as opposed to the harsh cutting and harsh reality of the earlier scenes and we see Jon Voight and Ned Beatty get out of the aluminium canoe we see the Church Of Christ has been rescued from drowning and later on you see it being towed away and you feel the church is hanging over them and accusing them of a heinous crime they have committed and you see Jon Voight come over the ridge and finds their two vehicles which have been brought down by the two brothers and we see Jon Voight touching their vehicles and finally experiencing civilisation and comes across this very poor family moving out because of the flooding and the man who is head of that family built that wooden bridge that the young boy with the banjo watched the men in their canoes pass under him and then we see the black ambulance driver shut the ambulance door who had put Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds into the ambulance and sadly we find out from John Boorman that the black ambulance driver got shot and was killed not long after they had stopped filming. When you see Jon Voight getting out of the ambulance and walking up the steps of the Colonial Lodge and walking into the building, John Boorman says that scene we get to see with all the people around the table with Ned Beatty there also is another favourite scene in the film for John Boorman in showing the compassionate of the people in that community who are especially kind to survivors and especially for Ned Beatty and Jon Voight in what has just happened to those two people on the river and the dangerous rapids they experienced and John Boorman also says that Ned Beatty says some really lovely words at the table by saying, “This corn is good,” and John Boorman felt it was a wonderful delivery that nicely ends that scene in the room round the table, but then say not quite, because we get from one of the woman round the table tells the story about the pumpkin. But the next phase of the film is going to be how they are going to get away with what has happened to them and a kind of neuroses that grows up with the tension, the anger, the bitterness and the closest of these men are being unsounded. But they have been given some clothes which is the shirt and the same one Jon Voight wore on the trip down the rapids and as he is walking around the building he is staying at, sees they have discovered half of the wooden canoe and thinks ned beatty has spoken to someone about their incident down the rapids and has betrayed them. John Boorman thinks Ned Beatty is an instinctive actor and there is a thing with Ned Beatty and violence with his character in the film and feels his responses are always true and his emotions are very difficult for his character to deal with and to control, but feels his responses are always about truth. While we see the scene with them dredging the river to find a dead body we see James Dickey as the sheriff appear and John Boorman thinks he has a wonderful presence whereas I think he is a belligerent misogynous dinosaur and John Boorman says James Dickey always wears a Stetson and even as an ordinary citizen and John Boorman points out that James Dickey is not trained as an actor and also says in this film he is just acting like he does in normal life. When we see Jon Voight and ned Beatty in the back of the taxi and the taxi driver is talking to them and John Boorman says this person is again not an actor and thought he played his part very well even though it was very brief, but suddenly the taxi arrives up behind the Church Of Christ being towed away and John Boorman thinks seeing the church on the move thinks it is something curiously menacing about the building, but it is also very televisual image and tells you something about the flooding as the church is being towed away. John Boorman says the first time I have seen the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ must be at least 10 years and when he watches one of his films and most directors would agree with John Boorman, that shortly after making a film all you could see and remember is the pain that you suffered in doing it and all the things you could of done better and after a period of time, in this case, maybe 10 years since I made it, 10 years ago and look at it again today and all the wounds have healed and the pain has diminished, and I can see its quality and it has a great power to it and what I do remember is the pleasure of the comradeship with the actors and the crew who helped me to direct the film and that is memorable and this film was an adventure and the people who shared had a bond and lasted ever since and all those actors are his friends which we see each other now and again and it is also like meeting someone you fought in a war with and you look at each other’s eyes and you say, “Well, we did it.” John Boorman says another effect of the dam and the waters rising up, is when Jon Voight looks through the leaves of the trees and sees all the coffins are being dug up because the graveyard is going to get flooded and it makes Jon Voight think about Drew and the mountain men lying at the bottom of the river with the stones tied to them and whether their bodies will be recovered. The scene we see Jon Voight with his so called wife who is comforting Jon Voight and the house they are in was owned by the doctor in the film which was up near Clayton, Georgia and they took out most of the furniture and just left the basic stuff required. With the final shot in the film with the hand rising to the surface of the river and it was a very important image for John Boorman because of his allegiance to the Excalibur legend of the hand rising up to the surface of the lake and he has used this image several times in his films and feels the image of the hand rising is the force of the unconscious wealth and also wanted to make you think the hand rising to the surface of the lake was a hand of one of the dead men. John Boorman also says, “We did it and like everything else with this film we did it in a very simple way and the way the hand rose to the surface was that they put a clear rubber glove on the hand and filled it with water wo it would float to the surface of the water.” John Boorman also says “Well we got to the end of it.” So all in all, it was a very informative and very interesting audio commentary and certainly gets a five star rating from me.                                                

Special Feature: Special Feature: Behind the Story: Four-Part Retrospective: This is a totally comprehensive documentary about the film that is divided into four parts and they are as follows:

Deliverance: The Cast Remembers [2012] [1080p] [1.78:1/2.35:1] [29:52] On the 40th Anniversary of the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ it brings together Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox for a relaxed chat about the film and how it affected their budding careers. Filmed at the Burt Reynolds Museum in Jupiter, Florida, we're treated to a number of great personal anecdotes from the lively quartet. Highlights include their casting experiences, stories from the chronological location shoot, personal relationships with one another, memories from their first times watching the finished film and to sum up this featurette, they all thought the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ was totally amazing and all the participants said it was their best acting experience and it was first class, and all in all, this featurette is well worth viewing and is totally fascinating. To add to this featurette, we get to view lots of nice clips from the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ as it adds another layer of weight to the film's legacy and lasting influence.

Deliverance: The Beginning [2007] [480i] [1.37:1] [16:44] This is a look at the history of the novel “Deliverance,” and its author James Dickey, the background and inspiration for the characters, and its adaptation to film. Despite John Boorman having certain negative things to say about James Dickey, despite this, James Dickey wrote some wonderful correspondence to the director, and that basically how things happened between James Dickey and John Boorman. Actor Ronny Cox says it was his very first film in front of the camera and when John Boorman went to New York because Ronny Cox was working in a play, and that is how finally John Boorman met Ronny Cox, on top of all that, Ronny Cox had already read the novel “Deliverance” so was ahead of the fame, and new all the characters that goes on this trip down a river. Ned Beatty informs us that he was at the times working in repertory theatre in Washington D.C. and Ned Beatty had heard that they were looking for a very young actor form the South who was theatre trained, and the joke was, there were three other characters and thought which character he would like to be in the film, so John Boorman went off to New York to see what would happen, and of course eventually director John Boorman finally met the actor Ned Beatty. John Voight informs us that when he read the script and was very concerned in what he had read, especially with one particular scene in the film, and was very confused and thought it was a horror film. But when he found out that he had to climb up a sheer rock face, he knew he could do that scene. But before he could finally decide whether to be in the film, John Voight was on the phone to John Boorman and indicated he was very undecided whether to be in the film, because of the very violent sexual scene in the film, and of course John Boorman sort of blackmailed John Voight, by saying to him, that I will give you 10 seconds to decide one way or the other and of course as the 10 seconds was nearly up John Voight agree to be in the film, and as they say the rest is history. But most of all John Voight really liked John Boorman, as John Voight felt the director had a sort of charisma about his personality and felt also he was a great filmmaker. John Boorman says that he really liked the actor Burt Reynolds and John Boorman was also really happy that Burt Reynolds wanted to be in the film ‘DELIVERANCE.’ But before Burt Reynolds got the part, Burt Reynolds had to personally fly all the way to Los Angeles to meet John Boorman on the backlot of Warner Bros., and John Boorman said to Burt Reynolds, “Can you do a Southern accent” and Burt Reynolds said to John Boorman, “I have spent 20 years in show business, and yes I can.” When Burt Reynolds first met John Voight, Burt Reynolds immediately hit it off with John Voight and really felt he could work with this actor. Before they could start work on the film, all the actors had to get fit and John Voight and Burt Reynolds had to learn archery, and even before filming started, they all had to do two weeks of rehearsals. John Boorman eventually met up with author James Dickey who had the deep booming voice that John Boorman found very intimidating. Even Burt Reynolds found him also very intimidating and James Dickey felt he was in total charge of everything and at one point Burt Reynolds informed James Dickey to get the god damn out of his face, and at that point James Dickey turned away from Burt Reynolds and walked over to some other people at the bar. John Boorman was told by James Dickey to not to tell anyone of his very dark secret, that all what happened in his novel “Deliverance” actually happened to him in real life, but with the other four actors was told the exact same information. Christopher Dickey informs us that his father James Dickey loved to make up stories and loved to play with people’s minds, and was very possessive about his novel, and had a really powerful personality and initially wanted to be on the set all the time and be engaged with everything, especially the actors and wanted to be a parallel director and of course the actors got very uncomfortable with James Dickey being there 100%, as the actors only wanted to be directed by John Boorman, and eventually John Boorman informed James Dickey that he had to leave the set and have to leave it all in the hands of the director John Boorman. But of course James Dickey was not at all happy about this situation, and after some decision, James Dickey eventually left the set, and of course everyone breathed a sigh of relief, as it was turning into a very ugly atmosphere. James Dickey who was playing the Sheriff and again everyone felt very intimated by his personality, but on the other hand they all thought he played his character really well and was a very good actor and a great sense of drama. John Boorman says that we all contributed in our own ways. So all in all, this featurette was really great and is also a very interesting.

Deliverance: The Journey [2007] [480i] [1.37:1] [13:04] Here it features a look at Billy Joe Redden (the banjo playing youngster from the beginning of the film) and the famous “Dueling Banjos” scene, and the choosing of the river and filming locations, and especially canoeing down the river. They say the most memorable moment in the film ‘DELIVERANCE,’ where these four actors pull into the gas [petrol] station and encounter this young boy who they think is mentally disturbed, but surprised he had a banjo. John Boorman says that his assistant John and wanted him to go and scout the area in America and came back to tell him about this young boy who could play the banjo and that he was incredible and was at the time only 15 years of age and when they all met the actual young boy, they all thought he was totally fantastic, but in truth he actually could not actually play the banjo, but there was another young boy who could actually play the banjo, who was totally brilliant and all the original young boy we see in the film had to make out he was actually playing the banjo and despite all they had to do while filming that banjo sequence and they all thought the whole thing was magical and especially when the old man came out and started dancing to the music being played and did because of the joyous music being played on the actual banjo and they all thought the banjo filmed sequence summed up the whole film. John Boorman and Ronny Cox was very proud of the whole experience and especially with the banjo playing sequence in the film. They also felt the film was so ideal, especially being in the widescreen format and being with nature in that part of America, and also the sense of the amazing trees and especially John Boorman and Vilmos Zsigmond (Director of Photography) and John Boorman was in total awe of Vilmos Zsigmond, because he informed John Boorman told his story of how he escaped out of Hungry as a student in Budapest in 1956 when the Russians invaded his country and also he had been fired upon by Russian soldiers and miraculously survived and that made him tough and resolute and shooting the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ was going to be a really tough time, and especially the environment and especially the raging river, so that is why John Boorman hired Vilmos Zsigmond as he knew he would be able to cope with the wilderness of that part of America. When John Boorman was looking for a particular location for the film, and being a young man and very foolish at the time decided there and then in actually choosing this particular location because it was totally impossible to get into that area, because it was so hard to reach, but despite this he still decided the location as it was so pristine and very wild, which is what he needed and of course they had two canoes for the four actors and they had extra canoes for the cameraman and the sound recording people, but sometimes they would record the dialogue without the sound of the environment and dubbed it on afterwards in the recording studio. All the actors say that the only actor who had ever been in a canoe was Ned Beatty who played the idiot in the film, but what they found was the wooden canoe was the worst for going down the rapids and every rock they hit made a really nasty creaking sound, but of course the metal canoe was so ideal, especially going over the rocks. Once again this was a totally fascinating insight on the experience of everyone in the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ and well worth viewing.

Deliverance: Betraying The River [2007] [480i] [1.37:1] [14:37] Here we take a look at the making of the rape scene in the film. This of course was probably the scene that people remember the most from the film ‘DELIVERANCE’ because it was so powerful to the audience with the prophetic words said “Squeal like a Pig” scene, where Bobby is raped by one of the notorious mountain man and the filming of the villain and everyone knew that scene was coming eventually and of course there was a lot of tension building up with that notorious scene. The third episode takes a look at the making of ‘DELIVERANCE.’ John Boorman is joined by cast members Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, Ned Beatty and Bill McKinney. The group of men focus in on the rape sequence in the movie and discuss a wide range of subjects including how it was shot, where the pig squeal came from and about the casting of the two redneck men. Bill McKinney discusses how he saw the character and why it was so important for him to play dead as well as he did. Bill McKinney also talks about the importance of Ned Beatty's performance during everything. Also discussed is another one of the death scenes in the movie and what the cast personally thought about how it happened. Overall this is another extremely good look at the making of the film and I'm sure fans are going to be happy with it.

Special Feature: The Dangerous World of ‘DELIVERANCE’ [1972] [480i] [1.37:1] [10:13] This is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of ‘DELIVERANCE’ [1972] on location in Georgia, including outtakes and interviews with the cast and crew. With The Dangerous World of ‘DELIVERANCE’ it shows some good clips from the movie and provides some insight from director John Boorman and author James Dickey. The narrator tells about the locations as well as about director John Boorman and writer James DIckey who we both see behind-the-scenes with the lead actors and training Burt Reynolds with those weapons which is put to good use in the film. At the end, John Boorman admits his relationship with Dickey was a bit difficult. 

Theatrical Trailer [1972] [480i] [1.78:1] [2:52] This is the original Trailer for the film ‘DELIVERANCE.’

Finally, even after the release of film ‘DELIVERANCE’ on the cinema going public, still remains an unflinching, disturbing, and utterly compelling story of survival. This new 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Blu-ray release from Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. features the same solid video transfer from the previous Blu-ray and offers fans a very welcome audio upgrade. For those that do not own the film on Blu-ray this is definitely the release to get. The film ‘DELIVERANCE’ still remains a powerful, character-driven drama, and this latest release only makes it that much more immersive. Very Highly Recommended!

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Aficionado 
Le Cinema Paradiso         
United Kingdom

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