Revealing mistake: In a scene where the canoes are shooting the rapids through a sheer cliff you can clearly see a stuntman climbing out of the water onto the rock.
Drew (Ronny Cox) is the only one to not come out of the canoe trip alive. Lewis (Burt Reynolds) claims that Drew was shot out of the canoe, but Ed (Jon Voight) finds his body further on down the river, and with no deep wounds what so ever, it is clear that he commited suicide by jumping out and drowning. Lewis falls out of the canoe and severely damages his leg. Ed has an arrow impaled through his rib while firing another arrow at a hillbilly. Apart from being raped, Bobby (Ned Beatty) comes out unharmed. At the end, Lewis stays in hospital and Bobby and Ed both return to their families. Ed suffers from a nightmare of what appears to be Drew's hand ascending from underneath the water.
Trivia: Actor Billy Redden (who portrayed the inbred hillbilly banjo player) actually could not play the banjo at all. Despite training for the film, Redden's hand movements simply weren't convincing, so a local musician was hired to hide behind Redden and portray the left-handed fingerplay in complex banjo-picking shots. We only see the briefest snippets of Redden handling the banjo with his own two hands; however, when the iconic "Dueling Banjos" scene reaches a fever pitch, the left hand seen working the banjo frets is that of the real musician hiding behind Redden.
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