Original Release — August 18, 1972
Toxic masculinity is a subject that has been explored and exposed during the MeToo movement, but Deliverance made one of the initial comments on it upon its release in 1972. What begins as a weekend adventure for four alpha-male friends descends into a battle for survival against their backwoods pursuers. The city men believe themselves to be the champions of testosterone — well-earning jobs and a thirst for leisurely adventure in the country must equal complete masculinity, right?
In the lawless Georgia woods, they couldn’t be more wrong. Ambushed and brutalized by the subsistence living people of the forest, the friends come to embrace their primal natures. In a horrifying descent into savagery, they come to the often-tearful realization that this horrible game of cat-and-mouse will be the only way to ensure they come out of this alive. Each character gets the chance to prove they want to survive — a choice that results in them doing something they never thought they would be capable of. Deliverance is above all a horrid deconstruction of masculinity, highlighting both its frailties and its dangerous appeal.
Image Source: IMDb