Deliverance has to be one of the most disturbing films ever made about going into the backwoods of America. Trying to experience the thrill of rafting down a fictional river before it’s flooded in order create a dam, four friends are separated when they accidentally paddle their canoes down different breaks in the river. Two of the friends go ashore and are accosted by two locals, one of whom is carrying a shotgun. The two are then subdued and one of them is tied to a tree while the other is forcibly raped, a scene that now lives in infamy among cinema. When their friends catch up and kill one of the locals they flee, only to encounter the other local further downriver. After killing him and losing one of their own the survivors make their way back into town where they are told to never come back.
It’s a twisted tale that is horrifying despite being rather tame for a thriller.
10. A year after the film’s release there were 30 or more people that drowned trying to recreate the experience.
You would think that people would understand that a lot of what goes into a movie isn’t real.
9. The actors actually did their own stunts.
The movie was never insured and the actors had to do their own stunts, so Jon Voight was actually climbing the cliff in one scene.
8. The rapids scene only took one take.
Ned Beatty didn’t want to do the scene over and over so they managed to get it right in one take.
7. The color had to be adjusted since the river looked too inviting for a thriller.
For a thriller you don’t want the natural surroundings looking so serene sometimes. There had to be an air of menace that people could feel.
6. Burt Reynolds broke his tailbone during a scene.
This happened when going over the falls. Originally they used a cloth dummy, but it didn’t turn out right.
5. Ned Beatty was sucked underwater by a whirlpool.
Amazingly his first thought was how they were going to finish the movie without him, and the second was that they would probably find a way.
4. Despite his character being clumsy Ned Beatty was the only one with any canoeing experience.
I wonder how hard it was to act like he didn’t know anything about canoeing. Talk about having to go against character.
3. The dialogue is taken almost verbatim from the book.
You don’t tend to see this too often since book dialogue is usually adjusted and edited in such a way so that it will translate better to film.
2. The “squeal like a pig” scene was actually the cleaner version of the film.
This scene was actually adjusted in this manner to edit out all the profanity that was supposed to be going on.
1. Donald Sutherland turned down a role in the film but regretted it later on.
He was supposed to play the character of Ed but he didn’t want to because it seemed too violent.
So what do you do when you hear dueling banjos?