[box cover]


John Boorman's infamous backwoods adventure flick is disappointing, save for the two notorious scenes on which its reputation is built. Adapted by James Dickey from his best-selling novel, Deliverance tells the tale of four city folk — led by macho survivalist Louis (Burt Reynolds) — whose canoe trip through the wilds of Georgia goes fatally astray. Although the filmmakers claim it's a story of man vs. nature, it's really just sensationalist hooey about nasty, toothless hillbillies. Boorman does a creditable job of establishing Appalachian flavor — as in famous scene #1 with the inbred "dueling banjo" boy — and defining his characters through simple actions, but whatever adrenaline the film musters as it picks up pace peters quickly. As in too many films where innocent people are driven to desperate acts, the characters spend too much time in ideological arguments when their survival instincts should be kicking in. It's distressing to consider that there'd be no movie at all if our heroes didn't act like idiots in the first place. As for famous scene #2 — unfortunate Ned Beatty's Ozark love scene — it certainly did nothing for the local travel bureau. Also starring John Voight, Ronny Cox, and some very authentic locals. This 30-year-old film has been given an impeccable transfer, in both 2.35:1 widescreen and pan and scan, and 5.1 Dolby Digital. Includes short behind-the-scenes featurette, trailer, textual supplements. Keep case.
—Gregory P. Dorr

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