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.
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Lewis and Ed are in the canoe after setting up camp and Lewis is bowfishing while Ed is drinking beer, Lewis shoots a trout. You can clearly see the arrow hit the fish just behind its head in a close-up shot. When Lewis pulls the fish in, the arrow is through the middle of the fish's body.
Trivia: At the end of the film, the police officer advising Beatty and Voight to go away and not to come back is James Dickey, the screenwriter and author of the book the film is based on.
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.
Lewis: Sometimes you have to lose yourself 'fore you can find anything.
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