The cast of Deliverance reunite for its 40th anniversary and to discuss the effect of its rape scene

The cast of Deliverance

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about the unnecessary use of rape in fiction, largely as a result of a plan to include an attempted sexual assault on Lara Croft in her new game for no adequately explored reason. It’s something that happens predominantly in other media, particularly in films but also in comics a lot, with attempted or actual rape frequently seen as ‘character development’ for female characters – a worldview that led to Gail Simone’s famous “Women in Refrigerators” website that looked at the larger problem of the disproportionate injuring, killing and depowering of female characters in the medium.

Well, hey, everyone, it’s been 40 years since Deliverance, which featured the most famous rape of a man in movie history.

Now, the main cast – Ronnie Cox, John Voight, Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty – have got together to look back at the movie’s effect. Most notable is Burt Reynolds’ recollection:

“I remember that men had not really had a feeling about rape that they got when they saw the film. And it was the only time I saw men, sick, get up and walk out of a theater. I’ve seen women do that, but to see men do it, I thought maybe this film is more important in a lot of ways than we’ve given it credit for.”

You’ll notice that male rape as a method of character development for protagonists hasn’t been used that much in movies ever since. Watch them all get together for a chat in this lovely vid, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.