It may be coming up for its 45th anniversary but John Boorman’s thrilling DELIVERANCE is as fresh as a daisy in the adventure stakes.

Burt Reynolds as Lewis and Ned Beatty as Bobby in Deliverance

Burt Reynolds as Lewis and Ned Beatty as Bobby

It’s hard to believe DELIVERANCE is almost as old as me! Made in 1972, director John Boorman’s thrilling adventure film still stands the test of time, bringing you a visceral cinematic experience that you won’t easily forget. Four city guys taking a canoeing trip in the Georgia backwoods sounds fairly exciting on first hearing. But when their holiday very quickly becomes a white-knuckle fight for survival after a run-in with a group of hillbillies, you’re pretty much gripped.

Coupled with that premise, the four guys in question are Ed played by the superb Jon Voight, here fresh from his Oscar-nominated turn in his first starring role in Midnight Cowboy; Lewis, the iconic Burt Reynolds who with this film became an out-and-out movie star; the brilliant character actor Ned Beatty in his debut film role as Bobby; and the similarly wonderful Ronny Cox as Drew, then you have all the makings of something special.

Smart casting by the ever-brilliant Boorman, at the start of his big-screen career with DELIVERANCE having made a splash five years earlier with the also classic crime thriller Point Blank.

In another article from the regular Guardian series, we hear from Jon Voight and John Boorman on the making of this now classic movie. And once you’ve read it, you’ll pretty much want to watch the film again – as I did:

How we made… Deliverance