It may be coming up for its 45th anniversary but John Boorman’s thrilling DELIVERANCE is as fresh as a daisy in the adventure stakes.
It’s hard to believe DELIVERANCE is almost as old as me! Made in 1972, director John Boorman’s thrilling adventure film still stands the test of time, bringing you a visceral cinematic experience that you won’t easily forget. Four city guys taking a canoeing trip in the Georgia backwoods sounds fairly exciting on first hearing. But when their holiday very quickly becomes a white-knuckle fight for survival after a run-in with a group of hillbillies, you’re pretty much gripped.
Coupled with that exciting premise, the four guys in question are played by four absolutely glorious actors. Firstly, there’s Ed played by the superb Jon Voight fresh from his Oscar-nominated turn in his first starring role in John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy. Next is Lewis, whom Burt Reynolds made so very cool and in turn, this was the role with which he became an out-and-out movie star. We have the brilliant character actor Ned Beatty in his debut film role as the affable Bobby. And the similarly wonderful Ronny Cox is the quiet and more introspective Drew.
Smart casting by the ever-brilliant Boorman here at the start of his big-screen career with DELIVERANCE having made a splash five years earlier with the also-classic crime thriller Point Blank with Lee Marvin and Angie Dickinson.
In another article from the regular series in The Guardian, we hear from Jon Voight and John Boorman on the making of this now-classic movie. And once you’ve read it, you’ll pretty much want to watch the film again – as I did: