Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 1h 42m
In the wake of Burt Reynolds’ passing, The Odyssey shows his favourite out of all his films: John Boorman’s gripping survival horror set in the magnificent but merciless American wilderness.
Seeking to discover a real and unspoilt outdoors experience before the land is developed by companies, four city-based businessmen (Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox) plan a rafting trip down a fearsome and remote river. The men aim to test their strength and endurance by cutting themselves off so drastically – but both the landscape and the locals seem set on destroying them, proving much more dangerous and harder to understand than they believed.
Boorman’s film benefits from a similarly uncompromising approach: the rafting sequences and cliff-scaling were performed by the actors themselves, without insurance, and the violence is depicted with unflinching detail, forcing the audience to sympathise with the characters even at their lowest moments.
Despite the film’s depiction of its Georgia filming locations as dangerous, violent, and terrifying, it actually improved tourism in the area.