Cast Away

Question: Where was Castaway filmed?

Answer: Cast Away was filmed on an island called Monuriki. It's part of a group of islands called the Mamanuca Islands, in Fiji.

Question: At the end when the pick-up truck drives away, there is an angel on the back flap of it, similar to the angel in the garden of the house where Tom Hanks delivers the parcel. Are we to assume that the parcel belongs to the woman in the pick-up, and that this is significant in some way?

Answer: It's a little complicated. The angel wings show that the parcel Tom Hanks just delivered to the ranch belongs to the woman (who is an artist) in the truck. As Hanks stands in the crossroads deciding which way he will go, his looking back in the direction that she just drove off implies he will go back to her house, probably to let her know what she did for him while he was on the island (giving him hope that he could someday deliver that package) and possibly to restart his life with her (she is pretty, after all). She was married to the guy who she sent the package to in Russia, but he was cheating on her. If you notice the gateway over the entrance to her property where another package was picked up at the beginning of the movie, both her name and her partner's was on the overhead ironwork. His name has since been removed, indicating that she is now single.

raywest Premium member

Wow, you are extremely observant. Thank you, I was totally confused at the end

You're welcome.

raywest Premium member

Also, the artist would have been on the island with him just like Kelly was in the watch.

Thank u. ❤️.

Answer: The Angel wings are an important symbolic thread that run throughout the move. They appear in several scenes. They represent love/hope/salvation. We first see them in a seemingly unrelated scene at the pretty redhead artist's ranch when she is still married to the cheater dude. She sends him the wings on a package but the package is not important. Rather the Wings on the package are important. She intended the wings to go to her cheating husband but instead they went to Chuck. Chuck preserves the wings. He caresses the wings. Later we see that he has drawn dozens of the same wings on the inside of his cave wall. On the raft, he takes only Wilson and the Wings which he carefully wraps in leaves. When finally delivering them home, Chuck writes "this package saved my life" when he means hope/love/salvation have saved his life. The wings have make the exact same journey as Chuck. They have finally returned to the redhead and bought Chuck with them.

Nailed it! My thoughts exactly I just needed confirmation that all of this was reasonable to assume. Thank you.

Question: Does anyone know what's officially in the mystery package and why Chuck never opens it, or is it just a 'McGuffin' like the briefcase in Pulp Fiction?

Answer: No one knows what was in the package. I think Chuck doesn't open it in order to keep his sanity. The package is his only link to his life before being stranded, working for FedEx and making sure packages get delivered. He was determined to make sure it got delivered just as he was determined to survive and get back to civilization. Success in one meant success in the other. While Zemeckis has joked there was a waterproof satellite phone in it, the real answer from the script is, no joke, salsa verde. Its a care package with a note imploring Bettina's (the artist) husband (naked cowboy) to come back and spice up their life like the salsa.

Answer: In the third draft of the movie there's a scene where Chuck opens the package and finds salsa and a note from the woman in the beginning asking her husband to come home. It's also revealed that she doesn't mind that he never got the package. Pretty unsatisfactory, probably why it was cut and left a mystery.

Answer: The package he got had divorce papers in them. He signed them and then placed them back in the package for return to her.

Question: Was the whale in the night scene in the raft an illusion? I only ask because it faded away instead of going under the water. Is this intentional or just bad special effects? Thanks.

Answer: I noticed this too. He is really seeing a whale. This scene shows what is coming as a whale wakes him up in time to see the ship. As for the special effects, that is still up in the air.

manthabeat Premium member

Question: About an hour in, when he is opening the Fed Ex packages, we see him open a divorce decree and set it aside. I assumed this was in relation to the package picked up towards the beginning in Russia at the cheating husband's place, and we see at the end the artist girl is apparently now divorced. Yet he supposedly never opened her package. Wouldn't it have been the signed the divorce papers?

Answer: The director joked on the DVD commentary about there being a solar-powered satellite phone in the last package. The joke being that if Hanks had just opened that last package, he would have been immediately rescued by calling for help. However, the comment was only in jest, and was never meant to be taken seriously. It was never shown what was in that last package.

raywest Premium member

Question: I have a problem with the scene where Chuck makes a fire by rubbing sticks. While it is possible to make a fire by the rubbing sticks, don't you need to run the stick against bamboo for the trick to work?

Answer: The point of the scene is that he has no idea what he's doing.

Jason Hoffman

Answer: You can use any wood (although technically bamboo is a grass and not wood), it just should be very dry wood. He's employing the fire trench method where the friction is created by rubbing one stick at a 45° angle against a trench in a wood plank (his trench looks to have been created because the plank was slit).

Bishop73

Actually, I looked up how to make a fire by rubbing sticks because asking this question, and I misread it as suggesting using bamboo. It was actually suggesting using coconut wood.

Question: How does Chuck collect his supply of drinking water? We see him drinking from a coconut and a curled up leaf on the ground. We also see a small drip in his cave, but these small amounts don't seem like enough water to sustain life. We don't see how Chuck may have collected the rain water for future use.

Answer: As you pointed out, Chuck used a combination of methods to get just enough water and fluids to survive. In addition to the ones you mentioned, he was also drinking coconut milk, and he could also distill fresh water from sea water (and even urine) by using a piece of plastic, broad leaves, etc. to cover the pooled liquid and catch the evaporation. Eventually he would have enough make-shift containers to collect rain water during thunderstorms that he could store in the coconut shells for later use. Any fruits on the island would also provide fluids.

raywest Premium member

Answer: In that area they have two seasons - the dry season and the rainy season. Dry season means it doesn't rain every day. The volcanic rock will provide many pools of rain water. It should be easy to make a catch basin of some sort if necessary. The hard part is not getting sick from drinking after crabs, amoebas and what have you, but there's plenty of sand and coconut husk to make a filtration system.

Question: What caused Chuck's gum to swell?

Answer: He had a bad tooth that he had delayed getting fixed, and an abscess developed in his gums.

raywest Premium member

Question: In the beginning of the movie, Chuck gives Kelly a small golden gift. He tells her not to open it until New Years. What was in it?

Answer: It was an engagement ring. Chuck was going to propose to her when he returned.

raywest Premium member

Question: In the easter eggs it says that you can find out what is in the un-opened FedEx package. I don't have the DVD, but what's in the package?

Answer: According to imdb.com, "Robert Zemeckis was asked at a Q&A session at USC what was in the unopened packaged. He replied that it was a waterproof, solar-powered, satellite phone."

T Poston

Of course this is just a joke and one that had to be made, but not taken seriously. Had it been a satellite phone and he opened it, there would not be much of a movie plot left.

Question: When Kelly shows Chuck the map on the dining room table she shows him where he was rescued by the ship and where "his island" was located. How was it determined exactly where the island was?

Duderino Lebowski

Chosen answer: The island's location could be determined by compiling pieces of information, including the dates and locations of where the plane crashed into the ocean, when and where the cargo ship found Chuck, and how long he was adrift to and from the island. Chuck, an experienced sailor, was obsessed with tracking time. He knew when he left the island because he had created an analemma, a type of calendar that charts star movement throughout the year, seen on the cave wall. Wind factors, weather conditions, and ocean currents would also be on record for those times and locations, and, depending on how long Chuck drifted on open water, his course could later be calculated by computer modeling and the island's (or its approximate) coordinates determined.

raywest Premium member

Also, I am sure that he was either shown, by FedEx or the freighter, a map of where the ship found him on the raft. After living on the island for so long; mapping it and trying to find any way to escape, he probably would be able to easily identify the island, especially after being shown a map with tide charts.

Answer: The dining room map scene conveys a more important message than the location of the island. Kelly had dedicated the entire dining room to charting all activity and information related to Chuck's possible location. Think about it. She has a husband. She has a family. Yet a main room in their house is dedicated to tracking Chuck. Then look at Chuck's expression when he comes to realise this fact. He is amazed and taken back a bit while Kelly acts like it's perfectly normal. Clearly Kelly is still in love with Chuck.

There is nothing in the room that implies that she had dedicated a room in their house to Chuck's disappearance for the entire time. More likely, once he disappeared, she did whatever she could to try and find him. After the search was called off and they had a funeral, she probably packed away these items, only taking them out when new information was learned. once he was found, she probably took it all out again, anticipating he would eventually go there, or she just wanted to label on the map where he was and figure out how close they were to finding him. Ultimately, I would think a husband that has a wife that is SO obsessed with finding her ex-boyfriend for multiple years, to the point of constantly needing the search materials on a table out and visible to all - he would be insane to put up with that. At first, sure...but no way he is putting up with it for that long, taking up the only dining room table they have.

oldbaldyone

Question: I've always had an sequence issue with the saved package that Chuck delivers to the lady "Bettina" in the truck at the end. To me it could either be the return divorce papers from Russia, or just happens to be some other delivery, since she appears to be a regular FedEx customer. Either way doesn't matter here for me. The issue/questions is, if the plane that crashed over the Pacific left the FedEx hub in Memphis, TN then why is a package that is destined for somewhere in Texas taking the long route way over the Pacific, rather than just go from Memphis to Texas the short way? The "Dissolution of Marriage Agreement" (1:02:23), shows from Law office in Santa Fe, NM destined for Jakarta Indonesia (over the Pacific). Has anyone else reconciled this delivery route dilemma?

Greg2644

Chosen answer: Memphis is the "hub" for FedEx. It is a waste of time and energy and money if they send every package exactly where it is destined to go, directly. Instead, every single package goes to one place, where they are grouped and sorted do that they can fill trucks with packages all going to the same destination. In the movie, he brings it back to the original sender of the package, he does not bring it to whom it was originally being sent, which is why he brought it back at the end.

Answer: This package cannot be the same one she sent in the beginning scene. It had pink wings on it! The one Chuck found had golden wings on it. Remember she told the fed ex man to come back on Thursday she had another one to send. This one had to be the one Chuck found.

Answer: Yes, it was being shipped and Chuck returned it to Texas. That's why they play Elvis' Return To Sender.

So this could have been the signed returned divorce papers in a new package with golden wings and not her original sent package with pink wings?

Answer: So that leads me to believe these were not the divorce papers. She was the sender of the 2nd package.

Question: What is that green thing that Chuck tries to break open by throwing it against a rock wall, and then by hitting it with a rock? Is it really that difficult to break open?

Answer: It sure is. You have to be gentle when you break it so all the water doesn't just go everywhere, like it would if you pounded it with say, a large rock.

stiiggy

Answer: They were coconuts. Coconuts come in a green shell which is their husk and they are hard to open up, especially when they get older. Most people use a machete or pick ax to get the husk off.

Bishop73

Is the shell as difficult to break open as shown in the movie?

The film does seem to accurately depict how hard it would be for someone who has never opened one before to get into a green coconut. I've never tried throwing one against a rock wall before though.

Bishop73

I was asking if the shell is as difficult to break open by hitting it with a rock as shown in the movie.

For someone who has never tried opening a green coconut, yes it would be.

Bishop73

The inner shell itself is not that difficult to open. Using a pointed rock, you can break through the round-shaped holes at the end to pour out of the liquid. By hitting the coconut's seam running lengthwise down the shell hard against a rock, it will completely split the shell in two around the circumference.

raywest Premium member

Question: Does anybody know where the opening scene with the 'cowboy' is set? Definitely not in Moscow.

Answer: The scene with the "cowboy" is set in Russia. Bettina Peterson, the artist in Texas ships something (presumed by some to be divorce papers) to a man also named Peterson in Russia. If you pay attention the sign at the ranch has both Bettina and her husband's name on it at the beginning of the film but by the end the husband's name has been removed. What her husband was doing in Russia is never explained. In addition to the FedEx driver speaking Russian to himself, if you listen closely you can hear passersby speaking Russian as well.

BaconIsMyBFF

Question: At the end when Tom Hanks is going over the map and the woman drives up, where exactly is the crossroads location?

Answer: Somewhere in the Great Plains, you heard the Woman's vague directions, "Whole lotta nothing 'till you get to Canada", and from the looks of things, it's not important anyway, the generic nature seems to be a plot device.

dizzyd

She also mentions that the next town heading west is Amarillo, so probably close to there.

raywest Premium member

True enough, but "close" is a relative term in the Great Plains, like I said, the location is broad and generic.

dizzyd

Answer: The credits mention Canadian, TX. Canadian is on Hwy 83 in the Texas panhandle. The directions given mention Hwy 83 south and I-40 east. I-40 is roughly 30 miles or so south of Canadian on 83. Texas road signs are visible at the intersection. The ranch, a bed and breakfast and museum are at 9760 County Road 5, Canadian, TX. It looks like the crossroads was actually filmed maybe eight or ten miles south at the intersection of Z and 5.

Question: Ton Hanks spends 4 years on the island, subsisting on nothing more than rainwater, coconuts, and fish. It's not shown, but possibly he might have caught some birds, too. He lost weight on that diet, but wouldn't the lack of certain vitamins and nutrients given him scurvy, pellagra, beri-beri to the point of death? (Scurvy takes just a few weeks to set in.).

Answer: Scurvy is prevented by Vitamin C, middle aged coconuts have Vitamin C in them, so that's scurvy prevented. Pellagra is mainly caused by malnutrition, but a diet consisting of fish, water and coconuts would be enough to prevent that, because middle aged coconuts also have vitamins A and B. Beri Beri is a result of a lack of vitamin B and thiamin, Fish have vitamin B necessary to keep Beri Beri at bay.

GalahadFairlight

Question: Why did Chuck and Kelly not get back together at the end? Yes I know she's with that other guy but they still have feelings for each other. She didn't move on by choice, she had to move on because she thought he was dead.

Answer: She hadn't seen Chuck in years, she's married to another man, and had a child with him. Just because she still cares for Chuck (and maybe wishes things had turned out differently), doesn't mean she doesn't love her husband or wants to leave him.

Brian Katcher

And if I recall, they didn't meet because the new husband told her that Chuck didn't want to see her.

Ssiscool Premium member

Factual error: Shortly after the crash, when Chuck is in the raft, one of the engines continues to run even though it is half submerged in water. The engine would not have exploded like it did, rather, it would have just stopped running as soon as it became disconnected from its fuel source and flooded with water.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The aircraft seems like a Airbus A300 or 310 but it is really a MD-11 or DC-10 because you can clearly see that the front body with wing with engine attached sink leaving the tail section. So the tail has a fuel tank and the third engine. The engine normally compresses air then burns it by feeding in fuel and igniting it. But can't compress air because the turbines are in the water. The fuel would in this case would "flood" the engine then the igniter ignites it and explodes.

Fumes explode, raw fuel burns. Igniter will not ignite raw fuel nor would there be anyway to propagate the explosion that took place.

Even if the engine was flooded, and full of water, and the air couldn't, it still wouldn't explode. MD-11 engines run on a fuel that cannot be ignited.

Suggested correction: If the turbofan is in the water the combustor case is full of water.

More mistakes in Cast Away

Chuck Noland: I couldn't even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over nothing.

More quotes from Cast Away

Trivia: Production was shut down for a year, to give Tom Hanks enough time to lose weight and grow out his "castaway" beard. During that time, director Robert Zemeckis used the same crew members to help film "What Lies Beneath."

Cubs Fan
More trivia for Cast Away

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