Friday 9 January 2015

Smith, Weissberg, Mandell: "Feudin' Banjos".

I have mixed feelings towards John Boorman's 1972 film "Deliverance", with Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox.

There are several things in that movie that make me uncomfortable. Among them, the fact they didn't credit the author and performers of the piece below:

But, credit where credit is due, "Feudin' Banjos" (also referred to as "Dueling Banjos") is a great piece and it was composed by Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith (apparently performed for the film by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell).

Frankly, I like the piece. I also liked the contemptuous dignity in Lonnie's face (played by Billy Redden) at the end of the scene. One is left to wonder how many times Lonnie has seen people like the urban middle-class Bobby Trippe (played by Ned Beatty).

It's sad how rural Americans (once depicted in John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" as the noble Joads, full of greatness in their misery) have been debased in the eyes of their fellow Americans.

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