67 of 366: Deliverance

deliverance 2

What’s the plan Lewis? WHAT’S THE PLAN?

I feel like I am probably one of the few people that never saw Deliverance, but I did now and I’ll never forget it. I needed to watch two movies yesterday and my plan was to watch part of Deliverance in the morning and then do my errands and such. (riveting stuff, I know.) But I could not turn the movie off after about 30 minutes as Lewis (Burt Reynolds), Ed (Jon Voight), Bobby (Ned Beatty) and Drew (Ronny Cox) embarked on the canoe trip from hell.

Early on Ed asked Lewis if there were snakes out there (which would be my top concern, too), but that was the least of their problems.

The four friends decided to take the trip before the Cahulawassee River Georgia was turned into a lake, but they were not alone in the wilderness. There were no snakes that I saw, but mountain men run wild in the Cahulawassee neighborhood.

I won’t spoil it at all but Lewis, Ed, Bobby and Drew are faced with decisions that test their morals, strength, friendship and survival while on their trip, filmed in South Carolina and on the Chattooga River in Georgia.

From the beginning there was the sense, and visualization through the camera work, that someone was watching the group, even when they thought they had solved their problems.

Lewis is the leader of the group, but each friend has to take their turn deciding what to do to stay alive, especially after Lewis is injured on the river. Ed steps up a lot of the time but it’s evident he is worried about whether they will survive and be able to leave what happened on the river behind.

Deliverance is like Stand by Me but even more terrifying and suspenseful as it displays the themes of morals and the value of friendship and trust.

It’s also beautifully filmed and I don’t know how they accomplished the action sequences in such a realistic fashion as the group navigates rapids on the river and they almost drown in one scene. I could read more about it, especially since Deliverance is recommended in 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, but I’d rather leave it a mystery for now.

A tip of advice for anyone who owns that book and is watching the films, don’t read the whole plot synopsis, there are spoilers. Just look at the title, read the first few sentences and mark-away with Post-it notes, which I enjoy doing a little too much.

Then watch Deliverance.

Perhaps the fellows out there on the river in Georgia could have used a copy of Emily V. Gordon’s Super You to help in their time of crisis.

She writes, “We are all captains of our own ships, and we have enough to worry about just keeping ourselves afloat.”



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