DELIVERANCE CHOSEN BY DAVID GORDON GREEN
DAVID GORDON GREEN: “My favourite scene in any movie is the dinner table scene at the very end of Deliverance. It’s one of the four movie posters on my wall. Everyone knows the “squeal like a pig” scene and, “This is the weekend they didn’t play golf,” but very rarely is this referenced — the aftermath of such an emotional journey in the simplicity of a dinner table scene, and the awful, awkward, uncomfortable qualities of these characters around each other, family and food. It’s got a strange simplicity; a mundane sequence after an extraordinary journey always has this eerie, beautiful quality to me. That’s why that scene stands out. It’s burned into my memory.”
EXT. BIDDIFORD’S COLONIAL LODGE — NIGHT
After coming out of hospital at the end of their long ordeal on the Cahulawassee River, during which their friend Drew (Ronny Cox) died and Lewis (Burt Reynolds) broke his leg, Ed (Jon Voight) has been driven back by ambulance to the lodge where he and Bobby (Ned Beatty) are staying. Ed walks up the steps, and we hear chatter. He walks up to the door and peers in. At the dinner table, Bobby is tucking into food. He is joined by a group of other people: guests and Mrs Biddiford (Louise Coldren), who owns the hotel.
INT. DINING ROOM — NIGHT
Ed enters the room. Mrs Biddiford emerges from the kitchen, carrying a bowl, and notices him.
MRS BIDDIFORD: Oh, hello. Come on in.
Bobby stands up upon seeing Ed.
MRS BIDDIFORD: We saved you a seat.
Ed sits down. So does Bobby.
MRS BIDDIFORD: Do you feel like eating something?
The guest to his left offers a bowl to him.
GUEST: Some corn?
Ed accepts. Mrs Biddiford pours him a glass of milk.
ED: Thank you.
Bobby watches his friend, desperate to say something, but not knowing quite what. Mrs Biddiford passes Ed some biscuits. He takes one.
ED: Thank you.
MRS BIDDIFORD: Would you like some peas?
Peas are passed down the table. Ed takes some. And, as he looks up, he’s suddenly choked with tears, but composes himself quickly.
BOBBY: [to the man to his left] This corn is special, isn’t it?
MAN: I love good corn.
That’s the signal for the conversation to flow again. A woman, sitting at the end of the table, interjects.
WOMAN: We need that big cucumber I got out of our garden last night. You know how long it was?
BOBBY: Tell me.
WOMAN: Twelve-and-a-half inches long. May and I measured it around, and it’s ten-and-a-half around. That’s the darnedest-lookin’ cucumber you ever seen.
Everyone laughs. Bobby looks at Ed, who smiles. But the smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes.
WOMAN: I’ll send it over and let you see it, if you doubt it.
BOBBY: That cucumber’s a champion.