“Squeal Like A Pig!”
It is one of cinema’s most iconic lines. And one of film’s most intense moments of all time. I just spoke to someone who didn’t know even know that “squeal like a pig!” was from a movie – and certainly didn’t know it was from one of the greatest films ever made:
“Deliverance” was a cultural phenomenon from the moment it was released in 1972 – a shocking story of friendship and survival – and now there is a fascinating oral history about the film, how Marlon Brando and Jack Nicholson were set to star in it, and the on-set fight between the Director and Author!
Lewis: Can that chubby boy handle himself?
Ed: Bobby? He’s rather well thought of in his field, Lewis.
Lewis: Insurance? I never been insured in my life. There’s no risk.
Burt Reynolds is outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock, who is intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake. Lewis takes his friends, including the “chubby boy” on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget.
Here is the trailer:
“Deliverance” was one of the most iconic films of the 70′s, nominated for a slew of Oscars, but it’s a bit overlooked these days. In 1972, this was an extremely controversial film – “squeal like a pig!” was a hot topic of discussion. It was also one of the great action dramas of the seventies – Burt Reynolds became a superstar based on this film…
If you haven’t seen this brilliant movie, check out new blu-ray and DVD versions that have documentaries and commentary attached, and they are all worth viewing – and of course, there are the “dueling banjos!”
This was such a controversial film – brutal and violent, and of course “dueling banjos” and “Squeal like a pig!” became permanent fixtures in pop culture forever…and now there is a fascinating oral history about making the movie…here is what Director John Boorman had to say about casting the film:
Jack Nicholson And Marlon Brando Star In “Deliverance”!
Well, ALMOST! Here is the fascinating anecdote that speaks volumes about the movie industry.
JOHN BOORMAN: Warner Bros. wanted two major stars, so I went to Jack Nicholson [to play Ed]. He agreed to do it and asked, “Who will you get to play Lewis?” I said, “I don’t really know yet.” He said, “What about Brando?” So I went to see Marlon Brando—spent the day with him. Finally, he said he’d do it. I asked, “Who’s your agent?” He said, “I don’t have an agent.” I said, “Well, what’s your price?” And he said, “I’ll take the same as you pay Jack.” I went back to Nicholson’s agent and said, “What do you want for Jack?” He said, “Half a million.”
Now, Nicholson had never got more than $75,000. So I told studio head Ted Ashley. “Brando? Oh, God. He doesn’t mean anything anymore—he’s box-office poison.” Well, I thought Nicholson and Brando would work very well together. Ashley asked, “What does Jack want?” I said, “Well, he wants half a million.” “Half a million?!” Ashley almost went through the roof. Then he kind of calmed down and said maybe they would pay him that money because everyone in town wanted Nicholson. He said, “What does Brando want?” “I agreed to pay him the same as Jack.” Ashley then exploded, “I’d be laughed out of this town if I paid half a million for Brando.” I said, “Look, you asked me to get two stars. I got them. Now you’re saying you don’t want to pay them. What happens now?” He said, “Well, you make it for a price, go with unknowns, and let’s see what happens.”
So instead, the lead roles go to Jon Voight and Burt Reynolds, helping to cement them as two of the hottest stars of the 70’s…and more than 40 years later, this film still stands as a classic piece of filmmaking…
Read more of this fascinating oral history of the film by going to the entire article at the terrific “Garden&Gun” website here:
Oh, and here’s one more great story: the Author of the book “Deliverance”, James Dickey, broke John Boorman’s nose and knocked out his teeth!
James Dickey wrote the novel “Deliverance”, and he has a small role in the movie. Legend has it, he and John Boorman allegedly got into a fistfight on set, in which the writer broke the director’s nose and knocked out his teeth!
Dickey, who was also an alcoholic, clashed heavily with Boorman throughout the shoot, particularly after the director cut the first 19 pages of the shooting script. According to Jon Voight’s body double on the film, Claude Terry, Dickey would sit in a bar saying complaining about the film.
“God, they’re ruining my fucking movie, ain’t they? They’re not doing my book,” while Boorman says that Dickey was drunk on set, and became “very overbearing with the actors.” According to legend, things reached a peak when director and writer got into a fistfight which left Boorman with a broken nose and four teeth knocked out!
Read all the rest at indiewire, where they have great insight on classic and contemporary movies every day:
Of course, Burt Reynolds went on to become one of the biggest movie stars of the 70’s, and also co-starred in the brilliant “Boogie Nights”:
Read about his greatest roles by clicking on my story here:
If you want to know even MORE about Burt Reynold, then you need to see some of his less-acclaimed, but no less entertaining movies as well:
Yes, I wrote all about “hicksploitation”, and you can read about it here:
Now, let’s imagine if Marlon Brando HAD starred in “Deliverance”, especially knowing how much trouble he was known to cause on sets!
Some of the best stories about “The Godfather” involve the behind-the-scenes hijinks of Marlon Brando…read all about them here:
And that wasn’t the only film that he acted up on…there is a fascinating documentary about THIS:
Yes, one of the worst films of all time – caused in large part by Marlon Brando’s escapades on set. Read all about the disaster known as “The Island Of Doctor Moreau” by clicking on my story here:
Let me know if you agree that “Deliverance” is a brilliant film and a star vehicle for Reynolds – and what you think it would have been like with Brando!
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