Man's Battle in "Deliverance"

John Boorman's epic movie Deliverance has long been portrayed as the ultimate 'macho' movie; a rite of passage that separates the 'men from the boys', glorifying strength and physical prowess over ethics and decency. However uncompromising this conception may be, Deliverance is an evocative insight into the psyche of man, and his struggle against nature and the elements, conflict with individuality, and suppressed battles. Boorman, creating a deeper meaning for the more attentive viewer, deliberately places underlying notions of this in the mise-en-scene of the film for interpretation and analysis.

The film follows a linear narrative along the 40 miles of the Cahulawassee River and was shot in Panavision, using a letterbox (widescreen) format with an anamorphic lens. This narrowing of the frame conveys a claustrophobic feeling to the viewer, and allows for greater detail and a wider view, taking in the characters and the natural landscape - an imposing and omnipresent theme in the film. The sound of crickets and birds, unseen to the characters, is heard in the background throughout the whole of the film, and creates an almost haunting atmosphere. When Lewis hits the car horn, this sound is silenced for a...

Join Now to View Premium Content

GradeSaver provides access to 729 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4246 literature essays, 1408 sample college application essays, 171 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.

Join Now

Already a member? Log in