Are you serious?

Deliverance is FORTY years old?

Okay, now that I've gotten over THAT shock, let me just tell you, it is still a nerve-jangling little thriller. And it may have been going unnoticed as such over the last few, if not several, years.

Here's a Deliverance refresher course for those NOT in the know:

Four friends from Atlanta (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox) decide to take a canoe trip down a northern Georgia river. But things go quickly awry when the men run afoul of unfriendly locals--I mean, REALLLLLLYYY unfriendly--and the river becomes a dangerous series of violent rapids.

It was just three years later that mega-blockbuster, Jaws, gave us the immortal catchphrase, "Just when you thought it was safe to back in the water." Deliverance could have easily used a variation in 1972--something like, "Just when you thought it was safe to go into the woods."

Deliverance offers up timeless terror and four solid performances from the leads. Right now, I can't think of a soul who finds himself or herself somewhere off the beaten path, in the backwoods in the middle of nowhere, and doesn't think of the classic composition, "Dueling Banjos," that served as the film's theme. Has there ever been a more harmless-sounding piece of instrumentation that gave folks such a case of the shivers?

Hard to believe Deliverance is 40. I'm sure it'll still be good at 80.

Hey, it's camping season. Take a copy with you on your next trip.



Check out this interview with the four stars of Deliverance (and, by the way, is that Burt Reynolds or a wax figure likeness? His lips are moving):