At least they had the class to not call it the “Squeal like a Pig” edition. However, John Boorman’s thriller has taken on a classic status in its forty years and this release only confirms it. It may inspire some male bonding (of all kinds), but it certainly won’t make you want to go on a trip down the river. Cue dueling banjos.
The Cahulalawassee River is about to be dammed to provide electricity to power hungry Atlanta. Good for Atlanta, but these developments will destroy the river. The “now or never” situation brings good buddies Drew (Ronny Cox), Lewis (Burt Reynolds), Ed (John Voight), and Bobby (Ned Beatty) to the river for a canoeing trip that will begin pleasant enough but will cumulate in a showdown that not all will walk away from.
One of the party will walk away a little funny and might make you think twice about a weekend with the boys. That scene will stick with you for a long time and fuel fears of rapist hillbillies. Of course, you may have also heard dueling banjos and are familiar with the jaunty tune if you’ve never seen the film. The only member of our group of four friends that had any reputation was Voight who had scored with Midnight Cowboy.
Reynolds wasn’t exactly unknown but had more success on the television screen than on the silver one. Cox and Beatty were brand new faces to moviegoers, but would soon become familiar thanks to fine work in this film. Deliverance would highlight the acting skill of our main players and has come to be considered a classis of 1970s cinema.
The film would be based on James Dickey’s novel and he would provide the screenplay as well as the role of the sheriff. The film would garner a nomination for best picture thanks to its harrowing storyline and the fantastic performances of its leads. Hard to believe those forty years have passed, but Warner has celebrated by adding a fantastic new special feature, a new interview with the four leading men.
Deliverance is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (2.40:1). Special features mostly come from a previous edition, also meaning that they’re in special edition. Those include a commentary from director John Boorman, a 55 minute multipart making of, a 10 minute vintage featurette, and the 3 minute theatrical trailer.
Newly produced is a 30 minute high definition set down with Reynolds, Voight, Cox and Beatty and there are some nice photos and production stories in the digibook packaging.
Deliverance is a classic and still continues to resonate. Warner has brought a nice anniversary present to the table in the form of a great talk with Voight, Reynolds, Beatty and Cox as well as the book packaging. Fans will certainly want to pick it up for the interview alone.
Visit the DVD database for more information.