The movie Deliverance opened at a theater near you 50 years ago this weekend. Or maybe you had to wait until later in the summer to see it, because movie distribution was different in 1972. Deliverance become the fifth biggest film of that year and won two Academy Awards.
In Deliverance, four men from the city (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ronny Cox, and Ned Beatty) ride the rapids in a beautiful Appalachian valley that is doomed to be flooded by a dam. They encounter local people with varying levels of fear and violence. The two scenes that viewers remember best are "Dueling Banjoes" and the rape scene, at opposite ends of the scale. At its most basic level, it is one of many in the genre of "strangers encountering horror from the locals" movies.
But the movie overall is an illustration of the violence done to nature and her revenge against man, layered with a metaphor for that struggle carried out by the people in the film. Read about those themes and more as we remember Deliverance, at BBC Culture. -via Digg