Not for $50 million and a room full of Les Pauls could I tell you how it came to me, but yesterday I found myself thinking about Brion James.

The veteran character actor was ninety-eight shades of awesome. During the 80s, he seemed to be in every other film, always playing a deliciously rough-edged thug or unrefined clod, epitomized in his role as the boorish Detective Kehoe in 48 Hrs. With his sunken eyes, hound dog cheeks and a hanging lower lip, he forged an enduring career with one of the least-attractive faces in Hollywood. Barking in a hoarse drawl with an unremarkable build, he was everything the leading men were not; yet there he was, going toe-to-toe with all of them.

No Deliverance

By Sung J. Woo


Sunday night, I was sitting at our dining room table, half watching the football game between the Manning brothers and wholly reading James Dickey’s Deliverance.  It was about ten o’clock, and the moon was out, and there was enough light from the kitchen window to cast a shadow on something odd on the floor.