Synopsis: The Cahulawassee River valley in Northern Georgia is one of the last natural pristine areas of the state, which will soon change with the imminent building of a dam on the river, which in turn will flood much of the surrounding land. As such, four Atlanta city slickers - alpha male Lewis Medlock, generally even-keeled Ed Gentry, slightly condescending Bobby Trippe, and wide-eyed Drew Ballinger - decide to take a multi-day canoe trip on the river, with only Lewis and Ed having experience in outdoor life. They know going in that the area is ethno-culturally homogeneous and isolated, but don't understand the full extent of such until they arrive and see what they believe is the result of generations of inbreeding. Their relatively peaceful trip takes a turn for the worse when half way through they encounter a couple of hillbilly moonshiners. That encounter not only makes the four battle their way out of the valley intact and alive, but threatens the relationships of the four as they do an
Director(s): John Boorman
Production: Warner Bros.
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 10 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
109 min

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You wanna talk about

the vanishing wilderness?

Why are you so anxious about this?

Because they're building a dam

across the Cahulawasse River.

They're gonna flood a whole valley, Bobby.

They're drowning the river, man.

- We're talkin' to you.

- All right.

Just about the last wild, untamed,

unpolluted, unfucked-up river in the South.

- Don't you understand?

- We understand.

There ain't gonna be no more river.

Just gonna be a big, dead lake.

It's a very clean way

to make electric power.

Those lakes provide many people

with recreation.

My father-in-law has a houseboat

on Lake Bowie.

You push a little more power into Atlanta...

... a little more air conditioners

for your smug little suburb...

... and you know what's gonna happen?

They're gonna rape this whole landscape.

They're gonna rape it.

- That's an extreme point of view, Lewis.

- It is.


We're gonna leave Friday from Atlanta.

I'm gonna have you back

in your little suburban house...

... in time to see the football game

on Sunday afternoon.

I know you'll be back in time to see

the pompom girls at halftime.

I know that's all you care about.

Lewis, I wanna thank you.

Is there any hillbillies up here?

Yeah, there's some people up there

that ain't never seen a town before.

No bigger than Aintry, anyway.

Them, those woods, are real deep.

The river's inaccessible,

except at a couple of points.

How we gonna get there, Lewis?

I'm gonna take you there.

What the hell do you know about canoein'?

I know enough about canoein'

to handle the both of you.

I don't know what that means,

but I'll go along with you.

This is the last chance we got

to see this river.

Just wait until you feel

that white water under you.

- Ain't that right?

- I don't know if I'm ready.

If we are lost, I don't wanna hear about it.

I've never been lost in my life.

I'll have you in the water in another hour.

Christ, Drew!

Drew, look at the junk.

Look here.

I think this is where everything finishes up.

We just may be at the end of the line.

Hey, not so loud, Bobby.

Let's not upset these people.


What people?

This area may be evacuated already.

That's my '51 Dodge.

No, that's my car. That's my car.

All my youth and passion...

...spent in that back seat.

It's all gone you see.

All gone. Rust and dust.


...we got a live one here.

- Howdy.

- Howdy.

Let me ask you something.

Are you from the power company?

Power company?

What power company?

About the dam.

No, no, no.

Look, come here a minute.

See that car there?

We want somebody to drive 'em

down to Aintry for us.

Hell, you're crazy.

No shit.

Fill that one up with gas, okay?

Say, mister...

I love the way you wear that hat.

You don't know nothin'.

Lewis, just ask him about his hat.

I don't think you understood me.

I wanna get some drivers... drive this car...

...and that car down to Aintry.

You understand?

You might get the Griner brothers.

- Who?

- The Griner brothers.

Where do they live?

They live back over that way.



Talk about genetic deficiencies.

Isn't that pitiful?

Who's pickin' the banjo here?

Come on, I'm with you.

I'm lost.

I could play all day with that guy.

I believe you could, too.

I believe you could.

- That's good.

- That's very good, sir.

Goddamn, you play a mean banjo.

Hey, you wanna play another one?

Give him a couple of bucks.

Can that Chubby boy handle himself?

Who? Bobby?

He's rather well thought of

in his field, Lewis.


I've never been insured in my life.

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James Dickey

James Lafayette Dickey (February 2, 1923 – January 19, 1997) was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth United States Poet Laureate in 1966. He also received the Order of the South award. Dickey was also a novelist, known for Deliverance (1970) which was adapted into an acclaimed film of the same name. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Deliverance" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 25 Jan. 2021. <>.

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