Cast Away (2000)

PG-13 | 139 mins | Adventure, Drama | 2000

THIS TITLE IS OUTSIDE THE AFI CATALOG OF FEATURE FILMS (1893-1993)
You may also like these titles from the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, the most authoritative documentation of the First 100 Years of American filmmaking.

Cinematographer:

Don Burgess

Editor:

Arthur Schmidt

Production Designer:

Rick Carter

Production Companies:

ImageMovers, Playtone
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HISTORY

All credits appear at the end of the film. Producers thank the following individuals and organizations in the end credits: The Matagali of Mosesi Namomo of the Village of Yanuya; The Native Land Trust Board of Fiji; Fiji Visitor’s Bureau; The Film Unit, Auckland, New Zealand; Xtreme Forwarding NZ, Ltd.; City of Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis & Shelby County Film & Television Commission; WMC-TV Channel 5, Memphis; Discreet*, a division of Autodesk; Arrington Ranch, Canadian, Texas; State of Texas; Texas Department of Transportation; and Texas Film Commission.
       The working title for the film was Chuck of the Jungle, as stated in a 5 Nov 2000 NYT article.
       According to production notes found in AMPAS library files, actor-producer Tom Hanks originated the idea for Cast Away and began developing the film with screenwriter William Broyles Jr., in the early 1990s when the two collaborated on Apollo 13 (1995, see entry). Broyles traveled to “an island near the Sea of Cortez” with a couple of primitive technology experts to find out what might happen to a person on a desert island. According to an 8 Mar 2001 DV article, during his stay on the island, Broyles found a volleyball that had washed ashore, and, out of loneliness, he decorated the ball with seashells and talked to it, thus creating the character of “Wilson, the volleyball.” Broyles also read personal accounts written by castaways and victims of shipwrecks who survived physical disasters, but whose psychological desperation led to their demise. As stated in the 8 Mar 2001 DV article, director Robert Zemeckis had signed on as a consultant during the ... More Less

All credits appear at the end of the film. Producers thank the following individuals and organizations in the end credits: The Matagali of Mosesi Namomo of the Village of Yanuya; The Native Land Trust Board of Fiji; Fiji Visitor’s Bureau; The Film Unit, Auckland, New Zealand; Xtreme Forwarding NZ, Ltd.; City of Memphis, Tennessee; Memphis & Shelby County Film & Television Commission; WMC-TV Channel 5, Memphis; Discreet*, a division of Autodesk; Arrington Ranch, Canadian, Texas; State of Texas; Texas Department of Transportation; and Texas Film Commission.
       The working title for the film was Chuck of the Jungle, as stated in a 5 Nov 2000 NYT article.
       According to production notes found in AMPAS library files, actor-producer Tom Hanks originated the idea for Cast Away and began developing the film with screenwriter William Broyles Jr., in the early 1990s when the two collaborated on Apollo 13 (1995, see entry). Broyles traveled to “an island near the Sea of Cortez” with a couple of primitive technology experts to find out what might happen to a person on a desert island. According to an 8 Mar 2001 DV article, during his stay on the island, Broyles found a volleyball that had washed ashore, and, out of loneliness, he decorated the ball with seashells and talked to it, thus creating the character of “Wilson, the volleyball.” Broyles also read personal accounts written by castaways and victims of shipwrecks who survived physical disasters, but whose psychological desperation led to their demise. As stated in the 8 Mar 2001 DV article, director Robert Zemeckis had signed on as a consultant during the screenplay’s early stages, and agreed to direct only after Broyles suggested that Hanks’s character, “Chuck Nolan,” save himself “instead of getting rescued.”
       A 19 Oct 1998 Var article reported that Dreamworks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox were planning to split production costs, distribution rights, and worldwide box-office revenue on both Cast Away and What Lies Beneath (2000, see entry), another film to be directed by Zemeckis. On Cast Away, Fox planned to handle domestic distribution while Dreamworks would distribute in foreign territories; on What Lies Beneath, the territories would be reversed, with Dreamworks handling domestic and Fox in charge of foreign distribution.
       According to a 9 Jan 2001 London Evening Standard article, the film cost $85 million. Actress Helen Hunt was reportedly paid $1 million for three days of work on Cast Away, as stated in a 7 Feb 2000 People news brief.
       Including a one-year hiatus, production took place over sixteen months, as stated in production notes. Filming began in Moscow, Russia, on 18 Jan 1999, according to 2 May 2000 HR production charts. After a week of filming in Moscow, cast and crew moved to the ninety-nine acre “uninhabited volcanic island” of Monu-riki in “the northwest section of the Fiji islands.” In order to film there, the filmmakers had arranged a “sabu-sabu,” a formal ceremony with the island’s Fijian owners, as well as agreeing to an “environmental code of conduct” during production; amongst other things, the code mandated that they must replace any tree removed during filming with three trees in its place, and provide food and plants for the indigenous Crested Iguana.
       During the first bout of shooting, Hanks was still at a heavier weight from his previous role in The Green Mile (1999, see entry), according to the 5 Nov 2000 NYT. A 9 Mar 1999 LAT news item reported that the actor was injured in Fiji, enduring an infection to a blister on one of his knees that forced Hanks to spend one night in a Los Angeles, CA, hospital and the following week “off his feet.” With initial filming completed, the yearlong hiatus ensued, during which time Zemeckis shot What Lies Beneath and Hanks lost fifty-five pounds while letting his hair and beard grow. Shooting started up again 3 Apr 2000, as reported in a 9 Mar 2000 HR production charts listing. Although the piecemeal schedule was daunting, Zemeckis stated in production notes that the time off allowed him to view what he shot in early 1999 with objectivity when he returned to film the second portion; in addition, the ability to shoot Cast Away in chronological story order benefited the entire crew, as it added a sense of realism, according to Hanks. Final filming in Fiji concluded after one week, “a day and a half ahead of schedule.” The production then moved to Los Angeles, CA, where special effects footage was shot at Sony studios in Culver City. The scenes depicting Chuck’s return to civilization at FedEx headquarters were later filmed in Memphis, TN, where FedEx’s real life owner and founder, Fred Smith, appeared in a cameo. Lastly, production moved to Canadian, TX, where filming concluded in May 2000.
       A 28 Feb 2001 HR article described the special effects in Cast Away, including “digital effects, miniatures, and physical effects” that were combined to create the airplane crash sequence. To depict the FedEx aircraft’s plummet into the ocean, filmmakers shot Hanks in a dry interior, and, at another time, “blasted” the airplane with water; the footage was then combined so that Hanks appeared to go underwater at the point of impact. The lightning, rain and clouds visible outside the airplane’s windshield before crashing were all computer generated, and digital effects were used to remove landmasses surrounding Monu-riki. For a scene in which Chuck views the island from the top of a cliff, the crew found it impossible to import the necessary camera crane into Monu-riki’s rough terrain, so they shot in Malibu, CA, instead, using a “plaster centerpiece” in place of a cliff. The centerpiece was set up in a parking lot, and “the cliff face, where the camera looks down into waves crashing into rocks, was a digital matte painting with computer-graphic water and the reef and sky added in.” HR also noted that “day for night” shooting was used to capture some of the film’s moonlit sequences.
       An 11 Jan 2001 The Times (London) article clarified that FedEx did not provide Cast Away with compensation for product placement; rather, the corporation spent a long time deciding whether or not they would agree to the film’s portrayal of FedEx, since the company’s airplanes had never endured a fatal crash like the one seen in Cast Away, and their reputation as a safe, reliable shipping company was at risk.
       According to a 30 Jan 2001 HR article, the angel wings design featured on “Bettina Peterson’s” FedEx package, and later, Chuck’s raft, was originally created by Andrea Broyles, an artist based in Austin, TX, and the wife of screenwriter William Broyles Jr. The character Bettina Peterson was also named after Andrea, whose middle name was Bettina.
       Critical reception was mostly positive. Hanks’s performance was widely praised, with HR’s Kirk Honeycutt describing it as “tour de force” in his 8 Dec 2000 review, and the DV review of the same date calling it ‘bravura.” In praise of the film’s technical achievements, Stephen Holden stated in his 22 Dec 2000 NYT review that Cast Away contained “the scariest, most believable plane crash ever filmed.”
       The film took in $40.5 million in its four-day opening weekend, marking a “career-best” opening for Hanks, whose previous best was achieved with the three-day opening of Saving Private Ryan (1998, see entry). A 21 Jun 2001 DV news item stated that the film’s U.S. box-office earnings had reached $233 million, with an additional $20.6 million earned in videocassette and DVD rentals.
       Hanks won a Golden Globe award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama,” and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Randy Thom, Tom Johnson, Dennis Sands, and William B. Kaplan also received an Academy Award nomination for Sound, and William Broyles Jr. was named “Screenwriter of the Year” by ShoWest.
       A 4 Jan 2001 LAT news item reported that “Wilson,” the volleyball Hanks befriended in the film, was auctioned off on Fox’s website, fetching $18,400.
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Dec 2000
p. 12, 16.
Daily Variety
26 Dec 2000
p. 1, 9.
Daily Variety
21 Feb 2001.
---
Daily Variety
8 Mar 2001
Section A, p. 4, 6.
Daily Variety
21 Jun 2001.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 May 2000.
---
Hollywood Reporter
9 May 2000.
---
Hollywood Reporter
8 Dec 2000
p. 12, 98.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jan 2001.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 2001
p. S-3.
London Evening Standard
9 Jan 2001
p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
9 Mar 1999.
---
Los Angeles Times
22 Dec 2000
Calendar section, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jan 2001.
---
New York Times
5 Nov 2000
Section 2A, p. 1.
New York Times
22 Dec 2000
p. 1.
People
7 Feb 2000.
---
Premiere
Nov 2003.
---
The Times (London)
11 Jan 2001.
---
Variety
19 Oct 1998.
---
Variety
11 Dec 2000
pp. 21-22.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANIES
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Twentieth Century Fox and Dreamworks Pictures Present
An ImageMovers/Playtone Production
A Robert Zemeckis Film
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
Addl 2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
1st asst dir, 2d unit
Prod mgr, Russian crew
PRODUCERS
Prod
Prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam/Steadicam op
Cam/Steadicam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Loader
Loader
Cam tech
Libra mount tech
Preview system tech
Underwater dir of photog
Underwater 1st asst cam
Underwater 2d asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
Video eng
Best boy
Addl best boy
Rigging best boy
Key grip
Best boy
Dolly grip
Crane grip
Rigging key grip
Rigging best boy
Rigging best boy
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
Dir of photog, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
1st asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
2d asst cam, 2d unit
Gaffer, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Key grip, 2d unit
Video assist, 2d unit
Video assist, 2d unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Prop illustrator
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Original angel wings art
Art dept coord
Art dept prod asst
Art dept prod asst
Art dir, Russian crew
Art dir, Fiji crew
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed
Apprentice ed
Ed prod asst
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Lead person
Lead person
Prop master
Asst prop master
Set des
On set dresser
On set dresser
Draper
Buyer
Buyer
Set dressing foreman
Set dressing foreman
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dec coord
Asst prop
Asst prop
Const coord
Gen foreman
Gen foreman
Gen foreman
Supv sculptor
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Labor foreman
Toolman foreman
Lead plaster foreman
Plaster foreman
Paint foreman
Paint supv
Standby painter
Welsder foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Propmaker foreman
Greensman coord
Greensman foreman
Greensman foreman
Greensman gen foreman
Greensman
Greensman
Prop asst, Russian crew
Asst prop master, Fiji crew
Set dresser, Fiji crew
Const coord, Fiji crew
Const coord, Fiji crew
Asst prop, Memphis crew
Const foreman, Memphis crew
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Key cost supv
Cost supv
Key cost
Key set cost
Cost for Mr. Hanks
Cost for Ms. Hunt
Set cost
Cutter-fitter
Seamstress
Textile-artist
Textile-artist
Cost illustrator
Cost, Russian crew
Cost, Russian crew
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Mus rec mixer
Scoring coord
Mus contractor
Mus consultant
SOUND
Sd des
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Boom op
Boom op
Post prod sd services provided by
a division of Lucas Digital Ltd., Marin County, California
Re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Re-rec mixer, Skywalker Sound
Supv sd ed, Skywalker Sound
Dial/ADR supv, Skywalker Sound
Dial ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Sd eff ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley artist, Skywalker Sound
Foley mixer, Skywalker Sound
Foley ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley ed, Skywalker Sound
Foley rec, Skywalker Sound
Supv asst, Skywalker Sound
Sd des asst, Skywalker Sound
ADR mixer, Skywalker Sound
ADR rec, Skywalker Sound
ADR asst, Skywalker Sound
Dial asst, Skywalker Sound
Eff asst, Skywalker Sound
Foley asst, Skywalker Sound
Loop group
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Computer graphics
Computer graphics
Spec eff supv
Spec eff supv
Spec eff set coord
Spec eff set standby
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff office coord
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Spec eff
Opticals
Visual eff by
Culver City, California
Co-visual eff supv, Imageworks
Visual eff exec prod, Imageworks
Visual eff prod, Imageworks
Visual eff prod, Imageworks
Visual eff prod mgr, Imageworks
Visual eff digital prod mgr, Imageworks
CG supv, Imageworks
CG supv, Imageworks
CG supv, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
VFX TD, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
High speed composting artist, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Bonsai compositor, Imageworks
Whale anim, Imageworks
Lead match move artist, Imageworks
Lead match move artist, Imageworks
Match move artist, Imageworks
Match move artist, Imageworks
Matte painter, Imageworks
Addl paintings, Imageworks
Texture painter, Imageworks
Texture painter, Imageworks
Rotoscope lead artist, Imageworks
Rotoscope artist, Imageworks
Rotoscope artist, Imageworks
Rotoscope artist, Imageworks
Rotoscope artist, Imageworks
Rotoscope artist, Imageworks
Visual eff digital coord, Imageworks
Visual eff digital coord, Imageworks
Visual eff digital coord, Imageworks
Visual eff prod asst, Imageworks
Visual eff ed, Imageworks
Visual eff Avid ed, Imageworks
Negative line-up, Imageworks
Lead tech asst, Imageworks
Tech asst, Imageworks
Tech asst, Imageworks
Tech asst, Imageworks
Tech asst, Imageworks
Tech asst, Imageworks
Creative head of HSC, Imageworks
Head of high speed compositing, Imageworks
HSC prod mgr, Imageworks
Visual eff accountant, Imageworks
Digital col timer, Imageworks
Asst digital col timer, Imageworks
Systems eng dept mgr, Imageworks
Senior systems eng, Imageworks
Senior video/Hardware eng, Imageworks
System eng, Imageworks
Video eng, Imageworks
Software development dept mgr, Imageworks
Lead software eng, Imageworks
Software eng, Imageworks
Software eng, Imageworks
Senior VFX video ed, Imageworks
Input output supv, Imageworks
Lead film rec, Imageworks
Lead scanning tech, Imageworks
VP of tech op, Imageworks
VP of digital prod, Imageworks
Exec VP and gen mgr, Imageworks
Addl visual eff
Addl visual eff, Travelling Pictures
Addl visual eff, Travelling Pictures
Addl visual eff, Travelling Pictures
Addl visual eff, Travelling Pictures
Visual eff consultant
Animatronic eff created by
Animatronic eff created by, Edge Innovations
Animatronic eff created by
Animatronic eff created by, Amalgamated Dynamics
Animatronic eff created by, Amalgamated Dynamics
Addl visual eff
Addl visual eff
MAKEUP
Key make-up/Mr. Hanks' make-up artist
Ms. Hunt's make-up artist
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Key hair/Mr. Hanks hair stylist
Ms. Hunt's hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Computer/24 frame playback
Computer systems
Dolly grip
Prod coord
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Travel coord
Travel coord
Prod secy
Prod secy
Unit pub
Prod accountant
1st asst accountant
Payroll accountant
Const accountant
Const accountant
Post prod accountant
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Accounting clerk
Prod controller
Addl casting
Casting assoc
Casting asst
Casting asst
Casting asst
Dialect coach
Asst to Mr. Zemeckis
Asst to Mr. Zemeckis
Asst to Mr. Zemeckis
Asst to Mr. Starkey
Asst to Mr. Starkey
Asst to Mr. Rapke
Asst to Ms. Bradshaw
Asst to Ms. Bradshaw
Asst to Mr. Hanks
Asst to Ms. Hunt
Asst to Mr. Broyles
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Shipping coord
Shipping coord
Shipping coord
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Elec eng
Transportation office coord
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Craft services
Craft services
Medic
Mr. Hanks' weight loss advisor
Best boy, 2d unit
Prod supv, Russian crew
Prod supv, Russian crew
Loc mgr, Russian crew
Interpreter, Russian crew
Casting, Russian crew
Prod supv, Fiji crew
Prod coord, Fiji crew
Prod coord, Fiji crew
Loc asst, Fiji crew
Prod asst, Fiji crew
Marine safety, Fiji crew
Auckland, New Zealand
Marine coord, Fiji crew
Marine coord, Fiji crew
Co-Marine coord, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Marine, Fiji crew
Raft tech adv, Fiji crew
Raft tech, Fiji crew
Loc accountant, Fiji crew
Loc accountant, Fiji crew
Fijian import liaison, Fiji crew
Loc mgr, Memphis crew
Asst loc mgr, Memphis crew
Prod coord, Memphis crew
Loc accountant, Memphis crew
Casting asst, Memphis crew
Transportation capt, Memphis crew
Transportation co-capt, Memphis crew
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt coord
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Mr. Hanks' stunt double
Mr. Hanks' photo double
Mr. Hanks' stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
SOURCES
SONGS
"Heartbreak Hotel," written by Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden & Elvis Presley, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"All Shook Up," written by Otis Blackwell & Elvis Presley, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"Song of the Plains," written by Lev Knipper & Victor Goussev, performed by Soviet Army Chorus & Band conducted by Boris Alexandrov, courtesy of EMI Classics & JSC MK-Musica, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
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SONGS
"Heartbreak Hotel," written by Mae Boren Axton, Tommy Durden & Elvis Presley, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"All Shook Up," written by Otis Blackwell & Elvis Presley, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"Song of the Plains," written by Lev Knipper & Victor Goussev, performed by Soviet Army Chorus & Band conducted by Boris Alexandrov, courtesy of EMI Classics & JSC MK-Musica, under license from EMI-Capitol Music Special Markets
"Gremin's Aria," written by Peter Ilyitch Tchaikovsky
"Run Rudolph Run," written by Johnny Marks & Marvin Brodie, performed by Chuck Berry, courtesy of Chess Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Merry Christmas Baby," written by Johnny Moore & Lou Baxter, performed by Charles Brown, courtesy of The Verve Music Group, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Sleigh Ride," written by Leroy Anderson
"Blue Christmas," written by Bill Hayes & Jay Johnson, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"Hark, The Herald Angels Sing," by Charles Wesley and Felix Mendelssohn, performed by Vince Guaraldi, courtesy of Fantasy Inc.
"Return to Sender," written by Otis Blackwell & Elvis Presley, performed by Elvis Presley, courtesy of The RCA Music Group, a unit of BMG Entertainment
"Light My Fire," written by Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger & John Densmore.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Chuck of the Jungle
Release Date:
2000
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 22 December 2000
New York opening: week of 22 December 2000
Production Date:
18 January--early March 1999
3 April--May 2000
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, DreamWorks Productions, LLC
Copyright Date:
26 December 2000
Copyright Number:
PA1004609
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Digital in selected theatres
Color
Color by Deluxe®
Lenses/Prints
Filmed with Panavision® cameras & lenses; Prints by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
139
MPAA Rating:
PG-13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
37850
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Moscow, Russia, Chuck Noland lectures employees of FedEx, a worldwide shipping and delivery service, on punctuality. Chuck helps load packages onto trucks, and, later, calls his girlfriend, Kelly Frears, to let her know he’ll be returning to Memphis, Tennessee, the next day. On an airplane headed to Paris, Chuck overhears his coworker, Stan, telling another FedEx employee that his wife has cancer. Chuck avoids the conversation, but, as he and Stan part ways after landing, Chuck offers Stan the number of a cancer specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. Chuck returns home to Memphis, where he and Kelly attend a Christmas dinner with Chuck’s family. Several of Chuck’s relatives embarrass the couple as they pester Chuck about proposing marriage to Kelly. After receiving an urgent call to fly to Malaysia on FedEx business, Chuck abruptly leaves the dinner, along with Kelly who escorts him to the airport. Before he departs, Chuck opens his Christmas present from Kelly, an old pocket watch that once belonged to her grandfather with a picture of Kelly inside. In turn, Chuck gives Kelly a small wrapped box that looks like it may contain an engagement ring, but Kelly refuses to open the package, admitting that she is terrified. On a FedEx airplane headed to Malaysia during a major storm, Chuck overhears as the pilot radios for help. The plane malfunctions, and Chuck straps on an oxygen mask, buckling his seatbelt. When the pocket watch from Kelly falls to the ground, however, Chuck unbuckles his seatbelt to retrieve it. The airplane crashes, and Chuck grabs onto an emergency raft as the aircraft plummets into the ocean. Chuck inflates his raft and is lifted to the ocean ... +


In Moscow, Russia, Chuck Noland lectures employees of FedEx, a worldwide shipping and delivery service, on punctuality. Chuck helps load packages onto trucks, and, later, calls his girlfriend, Kelly Frears, to let her know he’ll be returning to Memphis, Tennessee, the next day. On an airplane headed to Paris, Chuck overhears his coworker, Stan, telling another FedEx employee that his wife has cancer. Chuck avoids the conversation, but, as he and Stan part ways after landing, Chuck offers Stan the number of a cancer specialist in Atlanta, Georgia. Chuck returns home to Memphis, where he and Kelly attend a Christmas dinner with Chuck’s family. Several of Chuck’s relatives embarrass the couple as they pester Chuck about proposing marriage to Kelly. After receiving an urgent call to fly to Malaysia on FedEx business, Chuck abruptly leaves the dinner, along with Kelly who escorts him to the airport. Before he departs, Chuck opens his Christmas present from Kelly, an old pocket watch that once belonged to her grandfather with a picture of Kelly inside. In turn, Chuck gives Kelly a small wrapped box that looks like it may contain an engagement ring, but Kelly refuses to open the package, admitting that she is terrified. On a FedEx airplane headed to Malaysia during a major storm, Chuck overhears as the pilot radios for help. The plane malfunctions, and Chuck straps on an oxygen mask, buckling his seatbelt. When the pocket watch from Kelly falls to the ground, however, Chuck unbuckles his seatbelt to retrieve it. The airplane crashes, and Chuck grabs onto an emergency raft as the aircraft plummets into the ocean. Chuck inflates his raft and is lifted to the ocean surface through a hole in the plane. Atop the raft at night, Chuck endures a storm at sea, and later, he hears the raft deflate as it runs into a rock. Climbing onto the rock, Chuck glimpses a nearby island and makes his way there. In the morning, Chuck wakes up on the beach and finds his pocket watch intact. Noticing a couple of FedEx boxes that have washed ashore from the crash, Chuck collects them and calls out for help to no avail. When cocoanuts fall around Chuck on the beach, he teaches himself how to break into them using rock shards to drink the juice inside. In the ocean, Chuck finds the body of Albert Miller, one of the FedEx pilots who was on his flight, and drags the corpse ashore. He takes Albert’s shoes and flashlight before burying his body and marking the site with a rock etching. To keep hydrated and fed, Chuck collects rainwater and spears fish with sticks. One night, Chuck notices a light on the horizon and, the next day, he uses his mended raft to sail toward it; however, when a wave topples Chuck’s raft, his thigh is badly cut by a piece of coral, and he must return to the island. Sometime later, Chuck opens the collection of FedEx boxes he has gathered on the beach, and finds: a Wilson-brand volleyball, several videocassettes, a pair of ice-skates, and a dress. One package that was sent by artist Bettina Peterson is stamped with her logo, a pair of angel wings, and Chuck leaves it unopened. One night, Chuck cuts his hand while trying to start a fire with sticks and throws his newfound volleyball in frustration. After washing and bandaging his wound, Chuck picks up the volleyball, now covered in blood from his hand, and draws a face in the blood. Setting the volleyball on a rock, Chuck tries again to start a fire and succeeds. He celebrates by roasting crab legs in the campfire and talking to the volleyball, addressing it as “Wilson.” Later, after making several attempts to pull an aching tooth with a piece of cloth, Chuck employs a rock and an ice skate to knock out the tooth. Four years later, Chuck continues to live on the island, and “Wilson,” the volleyball, has become Chuck’s constant companion. One day, Chuck discovers two plastic walls from a portable toilet that have washed onto shore and decides to use them in building a raft. Chuck braids rope from palm fronds and uses tape from his videocassettes to fasten pieces of wood together. At night, after Chuck tosses Wilson out of his cave in frustration, he frantically searches for the volleyball in the ocean and apologizes to the ball once he finds it. When his raft is complete, Chuck writes a message on a rock saying that he is leaving after living on the island for 1500 days and asking whomever finds the message to notify Kelly. At sea, Chuck battles large waves, using the portable toilet walls, now painted with Bettina Peterson’s angel wings logo, as a makeshift sail. Floating away from the island, Chuck is saddened at leaving. Lying on his raft at night, he hears whale calls and observes a whale emerging from the water and looking at him. Later, in a storm, the portable toilet walls are detached from the raft and carried away by the wind. When Wilson floats off of the raft, Chuck swims to retrieve the volleyball, but is too exhausted to catch up to it and shouts that he is sorry. Back on the raft, Chuck cries and sets his oars out to sea. Later, when Chuck is asleep, a large ship passes. He wakes up to the noise and raises his hand to get the ship’s attention. Four weeks later, Chuck returns to Tennessee on a FedEx airplane, accompanied by Stan. Upon Chuck’s arrival, FedEx holds a large celebration at the airport, and Chuck meets Jerry Lovett, the man whom Kelly married after Chuck was presumed dead. Jerry apologizes that Kelly will not be able to see Chuck that day as she has been overwhelmed by emotions. That night, Chuck looks at the picture of Kelly inside the pocket watch she gave him, and, later, takes a taxicab to her house. Kelly invites Chuck in for coffee, explaining that her husband and daughter are asleep. Chuck asks why Kelly has not become a professor as she planned, and she explains that her career aspirations were interrupted when his plane crashed. Chuck returns the pocket watch to Kelly, saying he kept the picture of her, but believes that the family heirloom should stay in her family. Kelly shows Chuck a map she marked with the locations of where he was found and where ships initially searched for him. She surprises Chuck by telling him that she kept his car, handing over the keys. As Chuck drives away, Kelly runs after his car, and they embrace on the street. Kissing Chuck passionately, Kelly declares that he is the love of her life and laments that she must return to her family. Chuck goes to Stan’s house and apologizes for not being there for Stan when his wife died. Chuck says that he once thought about committing suicide on the island, but when he tested the rope he made to hang himself, a tree branch broke and he gave up. Chuck tells Stan that his hope was renewed when the portable toilet walls washed ashore. Though Chuck is sad that Kelly is no longer his girlfriend, he is grateful that he could think of her while on the island. Chuck drives to the home of Bettina Peterson to return the unopened FedEx package he brought back. Bettina is not home, so Chuck drops off the package. Stopping on a dirt road nearby, Chuck asks an attractive woman for directions. After the woman drives away, Chuck notices that her car is painted with the logo from the FedEx package and realizes that she is Bettina Peterson. Staring in the direction of Bettina’s car, Chuck smiles. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.