|photo by Alan Light|
Deliverance is a phenomenal story and film. Jon Voight is an incredible actor. I did not get to see the movie in 1972. I was 16 and my dad said I could not go to any raunchy movie with a raunchy actor. Burt Reynolds had posed in a centerfold for Cosmopolitan magazine, and my dad who could be the grand titan of propriety did not like him for it.
I had made it to the movie "Love Story" when I was 13. I bragged about what a good movie it was. But, I did not like the movie. So - a little scandal didn't have the appeal it originally had. I did go see the lesser quality flick "Macon County Line" with Max Baur of "The Beverly Hillbillies" fame. Another boring flick I liked because it was cool to like.
So Deliverance was an engrossing surprise. Burt Reynolds was another surprise. I should have known that he was an intelligent artist. He discussed how he played a buffoon in so many roles because that was asked for that there were people who thought that was true of him. Frankly, I started teaching in 1978 and all of the "Smoky and the Bandit" type movies were of my student milieu.
I doubt I watch "Smokey and the Bandit" but I do plan to go back and watch Sharkey's Machine which Burt Reynolds directed and produced. I went to the showing of Sharkey's Machine, but my mother called me in the middle of the movie. I was disappointed to leave. I had gotten a good seat in the front to hear Burt Reynold's interview. Don't worry, mom was fine when I got home.
In short, I am now a huge Burt Reynold's fan. What touched me most was he made sure 12 of his films were made in the state of Georgia. He said Georgia never let him down. I can say he never let Georgia down. We couldn't ask for a better native son.