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Cast Away [DVD] [2001]

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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez, Lari White, Leonid Citer
  • Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  • Writers: William Broyles Jr.
  • Producers: Robert Zemeckis, Cherylanne Martin, Jack Rapke, Joan Bradshaw, Steve Starkey
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Russian
  • Subtitles: German, Dutch
  • Dubbed: German
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Dreamworks Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 July 2006
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (234 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001E5TTC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,594 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Tom Hanks stars as Chuck Noland, a Federal Express efficiency expert, who is stranded on a remote island after his plane crashes. Fo rced to survive in isolation, he undertakes a journey of self-discovery that transforms him, both physically and emotionally.


Cast Away reunites star Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis in their first collaboration since the heavy-handed sentimentality of Forrest Gump. Thankfully, this time their film's life-affirming message is delivered with more subtlety, attributable both to an extraordinarily committed, physically demanding central performance from Hanks and to Zemeckis' technically masterful but carefully understated direction. It's also a film with three distinct "acts" or, to be old-fashioned about it, a proper beginning, middle and end. The story follows schedule-obsessed but fulfilled FedEx supervisor Chuck Noland (Act 1) on a personal journey into the bleakest, most solitary despair (Act 2), before Helen Hunt, in the thankless role of ex-girlfriend, unwittingly allows him to glimpse an optimistic future full of untapped possibilities (Act 3).

Hanks' sojourn on the island is the centrepiece, but this is no tropical island idyll: following a terrifying plane crash (the one sequence in the film where Zemeckis shows off his uncanny ability to choreograph action), life on the island is seen to be a depressing and bitter experience filled with disappointment, danger and suicidal despair. Having lost all hope of rescue, ultimately Noland's greatest test is not to survive, but to find a reason to survive. He has no Man Friday for company, just a volleyball named "Wilson" that is both a narrative device allowing Hanks to deliver dialogue and an intriguingly pagan personification of the island's spirit under whose protection Noland is finally able to summon fire (significantly, and heartbreakingly, Wilson leaves him as he regains contact with the world). In an era of MTV-style film editing, Zemeckis and Hanks fearlessly take their time establishing with total conviction the grim realities of Noland's situation, his devastating loss of hope and the means by which he achieves his escape. Like Contact before it, Cast Away is a refreshingly thoughtful piece of mainstream cinema that explores weighty existential issues but retains a warm human intimacy.

On the DVD: The luminous anamorphic print with vivid Dolby 5.1 soundtrack is accompanied on the first disc by a technical commentary from Zemeckis and key crew personnel. It's plenty insightful for budding filmmakers, although for pure listening pleasure one might have preferred a more relaxed piece with just the director and Tom Hanks. The second disc includes a 30-minute making-of documentary in which the director sums up the moral of the movie--"Surviving is easy but living is difficult". This draws on material from the three other mini-documentaries about survival skills, Wilson the volleyball and the Fijian island location of Monu Riki respectively. There's also a section on the sometimes surprising use of CGI effects and a storyboard-to-film comparison sequence. Tom Hanks chats with American TV host Charlie Rose about this movie and his career in the extensive 50-minute interview. Trailers, artwork and stills round out a valuable two-disc set. --Mark Walker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Inspector Gadget VINE VOICE on 24 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Chuck Noland is a man who lives by the clock. Working for Federal Express he accounts for every second of his life and lives for efficiency. His Xmas 1995 dinner is interrupted when work calls him away to supervise a flight to Malaysia. He promises his girlfriend Kelly that he'll be right back. He doesn't realize he's making a promise he can't keep.

While passing over the Pacific his plane enters a storm and ditches into the ocean, very violently. Chuck is the only survivor of the flight and manages to escape into the water with a life raft, but loses the radio transmitter in the process. When morning breaks he discovers that he has washed-up on an uninhabited island. Rescue does not come, and Chuck must figure out how to survive while torturing himself with memories of Kelly.

In an annoying cop-out, the film then jumps to Four Years Later where Chuck has reverted to a cave-man appearance. He's not a happy man, but his outlook changes when a steel section of a port-a-john washes up on the beach. Using a analemma he has etched onto a cave wall, Chuck is STILL keeping track of time and plans an escape from the island using the sheet of steel as a sail for his rickety raft to freedom.

Cast Away (not Castaway) has lovely sound design and photography (why Zemeckis chose to shoot it in 1.85:1 is rather odd though, as many shots seem uncomfortably tight), and really immerses you in the threatening silence of the island. It actually reminds me a lot of the video game Myst in that respect. But the film is book-ended by boredom. The only part I ever really watch is the middle section on the island.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Danny Bash on 4 Nov. 2001
Format: DVD
This is such a good film, thought provoking, realistic and un-glamourised. Its the kind of film that will play on your mind and become even better as you relive it in your mind. Its an eye opener to how many distractions we have in our lives, and what it could be like if they were all taken away in a blink of an eye. The movie asks this question, is it a blessing or a curse to survive such a crash?
The whole scene of the plane crashing is terrifyingly real. You'll be holding your breath for a while.... The style used to make the island part of the movie is very effective at making the viewer uncomfortable. No music score whatsoever until very near the end which is very noticeable when it happens, like a breath of fresh air. You can feel though out the film, conscious decisions to not use tools like voice-overs to fill the silence. This I feel, keeps the viewer more at a distance from Chuck's feelings, but ultimately drags the viewer deeper into the miserable situation he is in, making the whole film more interactive in a way. Which is probably why the film has not been to everyone's tastes.
Castaway has left me with a similar feeling as when I saw new version of 'The Thin Red Line' Although almost in opposite ways, its very spiritual, like staring death in the face. Keep breathing, remind yourself who you used to be. Chuck has a picture of his girl. That old light at the end of the cave. And let's not forget Wilson, the best friend guy could have. :-)
The DVD is worth every penny. Quality is what you'd expect. There is also a massive interview with Tom Hanks, which he not only talks about Castaway, but Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers, and That thing you do. Ever since my all time favourite movie "Joe versus the volcano" Tom has just got a bigger and bigger star, and this film shows us why.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By The usual suspect TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2012
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I've only ever seen Castaway in dribs and drabs. Somehow I would always end up watching 20 mins here and there when it was on TV. I saw it was about to come out on BD so I thought I'd finally force myself to watch it as a whole.
I wouldn't say it's one of my favourite movies of all time but it's still a good watch. A great story portrayed thoroughly by the director and Tom Hanks.

The HD quality is very good. Obviously, I don't have the DVD but I can say 100% that this will be worth the upgrade. The audio is very good also and adds plenty of atmosphere to many of the scenes.

Languages and subs are well catered for:

Languages: French DD5.1; German DD5.1; Italian DD5.1; Japanese DD5.1; Portuguese DD5.1; Spanish (Castillian) DD5.1; Spanish (Latin) DD5.1;

Subs: English, English (SDH), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Runtime: 144mins
No extras - not even a free volleyball!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "yohiweb" on 17 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
I have been impressed by Tom Hanks acting. His onscreen persona somehow projects into your life for a short while, as you see him act out the role he plays. As an actor, he involves his audience - which is hard onscreen as there is no direct audience contact.
The concept of the trails and learning experiences that being "Castaway" would bring has always had an appeal to me. Intuition? Initiative? Survival? Health? Psychology? Sanity? Hope? Expectation? Despair? Recovery? Frustration? Those left behind? Re-integration with society?
All these issues are touched upon in this film with excellent screen play and directorship. The island he is on could almost be paradise, if it were not a prison. It is not just a prison due to it's location, but also the geogrpahical characteristics of the Island make it very hard to escape. It is fascinating to see how he deals with and overcomes these frustrations and challenges. Look out for "Wilson", is he "real" or not? I felt a sense of loss when he floated away... (you will have to watch it to find out.)
You don't normally expect special effects in a film of this type, but the plane crash is probably the most harrowing you will ever see. Also great thought went into the camera shots, some very technical manouveres carried out.
The other side of the coin is the effect on the people who presumed he was dead. What about the problems when that person is finally discovered... if you lost someone this way, you still loved them at the point they went. So you could rebuild your life, but that love you had is still "alive", in effect that relationship might not have had "closure". What happens if that person comes back?
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