DVD - Image B Sound C Extras B
BD - Image A- Sound A- Extras B+
starring Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox
screenplay by James Dickey, based on his novel
directed by John Boorman
by Walter Chaw Deliverance is mesmerizing. Emerging fully-formed from the rich, black loam of the best period of filmmaking definitely in the United States and possibly in the history of cinema, it pistons its roots unerringly into the darkest corners of our species' memory. In the second-most memorable moment of the film (the one where kind-hearted city-slicker Drew (Ronny Cox) eases into a guitar/banjo duel with a local kid (Billy Redden)), Boorman dangles the possibility that there could be civility between the spoilers and the spoiled before retracting it for the remainder of the picture's running time. If Boorman is our pre-eminent keeper of the Arthurian legend, it's useful to wonder in this particular quest undertaken what are the dark spirits of the wood, and what is the grail? The final image of the piece, after all, suggests a corruption of the Excalibur iconography offered from some fathomless underneath. The essential Western phallus is perverted in Deliverance into the promise that the primal will never be repressed for long.