Deliverance (1972)

USA, 1972
35mm film, “filmed in Panavision” (anamorphic), Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American borderline horror film directed by John Boorman.

Plot Summary

Four men from the city head into into he backwoods of Georgia on a rafting expedition down a river. But they soon run into some very unfriendly locals, one of the party is raped and one of the offending hillbillies is killed. The city men find themselves trapped in a gorge unable to escape as the vengeful locals come looking for them…


* = uncredited

Directed by: John Boorman
© MCMLXXII [1972] by Warner Bros., Inc.
A John Boorman film in association with Elmer Enterprises, Inc. Distributed by Warner Bros., Inc.
Produced by: John Boorman
Production Supervisor: Wallace Worsley
Screenplay by: James Dickey based on his novel
Assistant Directors: Al Jennings, Miles Middough
Script Supervisor: Ray Quiroz
Director of Photography: Vilmos Zsigmond
2nd Unit Photography: Bill Butler
Camera Operator: Sven Walnum
Assistant Cameraman: Earl Clark
Key Grip: Art Brooker
Electrical Supervisor: Jim Blair
Editor: Tom Priestley
Assistant Editor: Ian Rakoff
Sound Mixer: Walter Goss
Sound Editor: Jim Atkinson
Dubbing Mixer: Doug Turner
Wardrobe Master: Bucky Rous
Makeup: Michael Handcock
Hair Stylist: Donoene McKay
Special Effects: Marcel Vercoutere
Art Director: Fred Harpman
Property Master: Syd Greenwood
Props: H. John Ramos *
Creative Associate: Rospo Pallenberg
Production Secretary: Sue Dwiggins
Technical Advisers: Charles Wiggin, E. Lewis King
Made on location on the Chattooga River in the Appalachian Mountains
Locations: Clayton, Georgia, USA *; Oconee County, South Carolina, USA *; Rabun County, Georgia, USA *; Tallulah Gorge, Georgia, USA *
Thanks to the people of Rabun County, Georgia; the U.S. Forest Service; the Georgia Power Company; Earl ‘Preach’ Parsons; and Frank Rickman
Casting: Lynn Stalmaster

Jon Voight (Ed [Gentry])
Burt Reynolds (Lewis [Medlock])
Ned Beatty (Bobby [‘Chubby’ Trippe])
Ronny Cox (Drew [Ballinger])
Bill McKinney (mountain man)
Herbert ‘Cowboy’ Coward (toothless man)
James Dickey as Sheriff Bullard
Ed Ramey (“old man”)
Billy Redden (Lonnie)
Seamon Glass (first griner)
Randall Deal (second griner)
Lewis Crone (first deputy)
Ken Keener (second deputy)
Johnny Popwell (ambulance driver)
John Fowler (doctor)
Kathy Rickman (nurse [Lilley])
Louise Coldren (Mrs Biddiford)
Pete Ware (taxi driver)
Macon McCalman (Deputy Queen)
Hoyt Pollard (boy at gas station)
Belinha Beatty (Martha Gentry)
Charley Boorman (Ed’s boy)

Alternative Titles

Beim Sterben ist jeder der Erste – Germany
Flußfahrt – Germany
Un tranquillo week-end di paura – Italy

See also
The Bare Wench Project (1999)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
Body Count (1998)
The Curse of Monkey Island (1997)
Curse of the Queerwolf (1988)
Hunter’s Blood (1987)
Mother’s Day (1980)
The Rape of Richard Beck (1985)
Redneck Zombies (1987)
Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation (1992)
The Tony Blair Witch Project (2000)

Extracts included in
AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Thrills: America’s Most Heart-Pounding Movies (2001)
Here’s Looking at You, Warner Bros. (1991)
A Century of Cinema (1994)
Psycho III (1986)



  • Action vol.7 no.6 (1972) pp.3-5 – illustrated interview with John Boorman (Conversation with John Boorman by Lynda Strawn)
  • American Scholar vol.42 no.1 (Winter 1972 – 1973) pp.148-54 – article (How not to film a novel by Charles S. Samuels)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.19 p.5
  • Cinema vol.8 no.1 (1973) pp.10-17 – article (Deliverance: Boorman-Dickey in the woods by Michael Dempsey)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10026 (7 April 1973) p.30 – note (Deliverance editor gets ‘Scissors’ Oscar)
  • Empire November 1997 p.144 – review
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.1 no.3 (1973) pp.280-85 – article (Deliverance: Four variations of the American Adam by Robert Armour)
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.2 no.1 (1976) pp.57-67 – article (Deliverance from novel to film by Robert F. Willson Jr)
  • Shivers no.78 (June 2000) p.43 – illustrated video review (Video reviews by Stephen Foster)


  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.70 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.94-95 – illustrated credits, review (by P.A.L. [Peter A. Lev])
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.313
  • Film Review 1973-74 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.216
  • Hoffman’s Guide to SF, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.98 – credits, review
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.184-188 – credits, synopsis, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.20

Other sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide March/April 2013 p.14 – illustrated listing