Castaway (1986)

“One Year on a Deserted Tropical Island.” Not to be confused with Cast Away, the 2000 film that featured Tom Hanks as FedEx employee “Chuck Noland” and his bizarre relationship with a volleyball named “Wilson,” Castaway boasts outstanding performances from the grizzled, beer-soaked and middle-aged publisher Oliver Reed and the young, beautiful (and often naked) Amanda Donohoe who decide to spend a year on a deserted tropical island together. Directed by Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now), Castaway is loosely based on a 1984 nonfiction book by Lucy Irvine, a bored desk clerk who answered a magazine ad from British writer and adventurer Gerald Kingsland seeking a companion to live for a year with him on a deserted tropical island, Tuin, which lies between Australia and New Guinea. I don’t know how the real story played out but Castaway comes off like a desert-island version of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Before you know it, the couple’s initial vision of paradise devolves into a nightmarish hell as they proceed to rip each other apart through intense psychological warfare. It’s too bad that today Reed is mostly remembered more for his drunken off-screen exploits than his compelling performances (he always seems to be on the verge of total madness). Okay, he did reportedly rely on a “vodka diet” to lose weight for his role but whatever works, right? Donohoe appeared in two Adam and the Ants music videos in 1981: “Antmusic” and “Stand & Deliver.”

Leave a Reply

Close Menu