You've heard the line "squeal like a pig!" and you're probably aware that it's from the 1972 film Deliverance. What happens in the "squeal like a pig" scene is a brutal sexual violation, one that is shocking to watch even 47 years later. But while the scene is, on its surface, a lurid gothic thriller with horror elements that features an all-male cast, it's also making a strong point about sexual violence directed at women.
For Ned Beatty, the scene was a further risk as Deliverance was his first film. Would he forever be remembered as the guy who was brutalized and sexually humiliated in that movie? To an extent, that's what happened. Ned Beatty has appeared in over 160 films, including Nashville (1975), Network (1976), All The President's Men (1976), two Superman movies, The Toy (1982), Rudy (1993), and Charlie Wilson's War (2007). He's been nominated for an Academy Award, two Emmys, and a Golden Globe. But he's still best remembered for the "squeal like a pig" scene.
John Boorman, the director of survival thriller Deliverance, took it a step further with one of the most vivid rape scenes onscreen. Ned Beatty was new on the acting scene at the time. He and his on-screen attacker both had a hard time escaping the reputation they received from their authentic and terrifying performance.
Ed Gentry (Jon Voight) and Bobby Trippe (Beatty) encounter a pair of mountain men who emerge from the woods, one of them carrying a shotgun. After a verbal altercation, the men force Trippe to undress, and one of the mountain men violently sodomizes him. Before they rape Gentry, Medlock sneaks up on them and kills the rapist. The other mountain man escapes.
Ned Beatty's film debut happened in 1972 with the classic film 'Deliverance', which starred Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds in lead roles. Despite the A-listers gracing the cast of the blood-curdling adventure thriller, Beatty managed to steal the show with his nuanced and near-perfect portrayal of Bobby Tripe. It was one of the shocking scenes from the movie involving Beatty that changed the face of cinema forever.
Beatty's character Bobby Tripe is shown to be brutally raped by another man, making it one of the most shocking scenes in cinematic history. Later, the scene even made it to the list of '25 most shocking moments in movie history' by Movie List.
The scene depicts Beatty's character being forced to strip at gunpoint in the backwoods of northern Georgia. As his friends watch from the sidelines, unable to help, Tripe is raped and humiliated by two mountain men. He is instructed to 'squeal like a pig' while being sexually violated in the most brutal, inhuman manner.
Hollywood has come a long way in 49 years since the release of 'Deliverance', and sexual assault or sodomy no longer remains an untouched arena in films. However, even today, the brutal scene is sorely difficult to watch, making the most seasoned film audience squirm at the edge of their seat.
The rape scene is shot in such a way so as to compel men into thinking about the brutalities of sexual assault from a victim's viewpoint. Such is the trauma of Bobby Tripe as a survivor, that his character decided to commit murder with his friends, to prevent the outside world from finding out about the assault. The hard-hitting theme is bound to make any viewer feel the pain of a sexual assault victim.
Ned Beatty took an immense risk by agreeing to such a scene at his very first movie in Hollywood. In fact, for years he was identified with the character as people would shout at him to 'squeal like a pig', wherever he went. Despite appearing in over 160 films after 'Deliverance', Beatty immortalized Bobby Tripe with his unforeseen, horrific, and hard-hitting scene, in his debut movie itself. It goes a long way to speak about Beatty's dedication and passion for acting, which he prioritized without considering the effect in reality.
Parents need to know that Deliverance is a classic 1972 movie based on the James Dickey novel about four Atlanta men who get more than they bargained for on a weekend canoe trip into rural Georgia. There's profanity (including "f--k" and its variations) and drinking and smoking. There's brief nudity (male buttocks). In its most infamous scene, a man is raped by another man and forced to "squeal like a pig" while his friend is tied to a tree. From that moment on, the action is intense and violent, with killings, dead bodies, and gruesome injuries, such as a broken leg in which the bone is sticking through the thigh, and an accidental piercing from an arrow into a man's side. While the intense violence is intended to raise broader points about civilization, survival, man's relation to nature, and the degradation of the environment, as well as what happens when people are reduced to a state of survival, the brutality contained in this movie makes it best for older teens and adults.
In a decade filled with movies about dystopia, entropy, and man's capacity for survival when civilization is nowhere to be found, this is one of the best films of the 1970s. While its most infamous scene and the line "squeal like a pig, boy!" have become a part of the pop culture landscape, Deliverance is so much more than this scene which, taken out of context, has become little more than a stale cliche at the expense of "rednecks." This movie, just like the James Dickey novel, strips the characters of the civilization that defines them and makes them human, to the point where even the "Hemingway hero" Lewis (played with a range by Burt Reynolds not seen in his later movies) is reduced to shock, panic, and weeping. The end result is as provoking and engaging as it is unforgettable.
Widely acclaimed as a landmark picture, the film is noted for a music scene near the beginning, with one of the city men playing "Dueling Banjos" on guitar with a banjo-picking country boy. It is also notorious for its brutal depiction of a sodomous rape, before which the victim is compelled to "squeal like a pig" by his attacker. In 2008, Deliverance was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
A Woman's Lot follows the story of Theresa, Henry's childhood friend, as she attempts to flee the Cuman invasion at the start of the main storyline. The scene in question features soldiers forcing Theresa against a wall in a non-interactive cutscene. One soldier attempts to lift up her dress, but she manages to escape.
The film, infamous for its hillbilly male rape scene, earned three Oscar nominations for best picture, best director and best editing. But Reynolds failed to get an Oscar nod and he would later say that his nude spread that year in Cosmopolitan probably cost him a chance at the golden statuette.
The centerpiece of 'Deliverance' is undoubtedly its most infamous scene -- the one that had grown men rushing for the exit signs during the film's original theatrical release. The words "Squeal like a pig!" have since become a cultural shorthand for the ultimate violation, and what the back of the Blu-ray box coyly describes as "the abduction scene" is actually one of the most disturbing and unflinching depictions of rape ever committed to celluloid. When the group stumbles upon two local, in-bred mountain men with more on their mind than just banjo playin', the balance of power will do more than just irrevocably shift. Mirroring the group's physical struggles on the rapids, all of the learned behaviors of these "civilized" men will crumble in the face of the savagery that emerges from within, when the only decision left to make is how to stay alive. If nothing else, 'Deliverance' should prove to all that rape is a crime of power, not sex -- and regardless of sex.
The scene is also so powerful and illuminating because it is just as much about humiliation, as it is about cutting us "know-it-all" civilized city folk down to size. 'Deliverance' is expert at deconstructing man's often callous and ignorant attitudes towards its own kind (watch how the four men condescend to and mock the "locals" at the film's beginning), as well as our ecosystem. Many have called 'Deliverance' a film about the "revenge of Mother Nature," and while that may be bit simplistic, it certainly is a movie that methodically and precisely exploits our worst fears about journeying into areas where we know we are not supposed to trespass. The amorous "mountain men" represent our worst fears about our own uncivilized shadow selves. It is impossible to watch 'Deliverance' and not hear the faint strains of "Dueling Banjos" the next time you make a wrong turn onto that isolated dirt road...
A true zeitgeist film, 'Deliverance' was an unexpected box office smash and one of the biggest blockbusters of the early '70s. Though some critics were initially put off by the rape scene as well as the film's unblinking focus on man's darkest, most violent impulses, the film went on to nab three Oscar nominations (including Best Picture) and has since earned classic status. Justifiably so, for it remains as taut, thought-provoking and utterly vital forty years on. In fact, 'Deliverance' may be even more prescient now than it has been in years. For those that may think 'Deliverance' is dated, remember that though the film was made at a time when the fires of Vietnam were just beginning to burn down, while here we are three decades later, witnessing yet another American intrusion into the more "primitive" culture of Iraq. Watching 'Deliverance' again, I couldn't help but think that we still haven't learned our lesson.
As director John Boorman and director of photography Vilmos Zsigmond explain in the included supplements, they intentionally shot 'Deliverance' in a desaturated, soft style, and it certainly looks it -- don't expect a presentation that's ultra sharp, colorful or high-contrast. Grain is pretty prevalent, too, though the print (while not pristine) is generally clean and free of dirt and speckles. Dark scenes fare the worst, with shadow delineation that's pretty weak at times and blacks that can look faded in certain shots. 2b1af7f3a8