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Castaway (1986)

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Middle-aged Gerald Kingsland advertises in a London paper for a female companion to spend a year with him on a desert island.


Nicolas Roeg


Lucy Irvine (book), Allan Scott



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Oliver Reed ... Gerald Kingsland
Amanda Donohoe ... Lucy Irvine
Georgina Hale ... Sister Saint Margaret
Frances Barber ... Sister Saint Winifred
Tony Rickards ... Jason
Todd Rippon ... Rod
John Sessions ... Man in Pub
Virginia Hey ... Janice
Sorel Johnson ... Lara
Len Peihopa Len Peihopa ... Ronald
Paul Reynolds ... Mike Kingsland
Sean Hamilton Sean Hamilton ... Geoffrey Kingsland
Sarah Harper Sarah Harper ... Swimming Teacher
Stephen Jenn Stephen Jenn ... Shop Manager
Joseph Blatchley ... Registrar


Middle-aged Gerald Kingsland advertises in a London paper for a female companion to spend a year with him on a desert island. The young Lucy Irvine takes a chance on contacting him and after a couple of meetings they decide to go ahead. Once on the island things prove a lot less idyllic than in the movies, and gradually it becomes clear that it is Lucy who has the desire and the strength to try and see the year through. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

11 September 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Castaway See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


UK singer Kate Bush was initially asked to star in the film, but she was put-off by the sexual material of the screenplay. Instead she provided a song. See more »


Gerald Kingsland: I believe in our future here.
See more »


Be Kind to My Mistakes
Written and Performed by Kate Bush
Courtesy of EMI Records
See more »

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User Reviews

The depraved and the even more depraved
16 September 2005 | by David_FramesSee all my reviews

A middle-aged misogynist letch harbours fantasies of groping a woman half his age who will double as a door mat and assume the role of a sexually submissive automaton on a desert Island and advertises for the same omitting everything except the woman part in this true-ish story based on Lucy Irving's account of year with this obnoxious, overweight behemoth. This is a gap year with a difference, in this case the gap between reality and the ignorant daydreams of a couple of selfish, moronic Londoners. If this introduction implies you should feel some sympathy for Irving then forget it. If Gerald Kingsland, as portrayed by Oliver Reed was as crass and obvious as one of those sex cards you find in phone boxes then Irving, as played by Amanda Donahoe is a priggish middle class suburbanite who tires of the grind of city living and facts of life like crime and Royal weddings and so imagines that she alone, despite having no idea how it might be done, will travel thousands of miles to be self-sufficient and uses Kingsland to make this a reality. Initially she's not going to let anything, even the facts, get in the way of this protracted venture to la-la land. She ignores the warning signs - Kingsland's obvious fear of female intelligence, the fact that he's had to advertise for a "wife" in the first place, his obvious interest in sex with a woman 20 years his junior and even, in a wonderful example of the will to ignorance, the way he contrives to spend all their money before they've left, forceing Irving to marry him in accordance with Australian immigration law. Some women might bale out at this stage and cut their losses but those sandy beaches are quite the lure and the two sad-sacks go anyway prompting 12 months of predictable implosion in which Kingsland angrily resents Irving's lack of sexual interest while she alone is astounded by his laziness, toe curling advances, crudity and total lack of survival instinct. In fact 9 months in and the two have virtually died from malnutrition. If Irving had hoped to spend a year bathing naked while Kingsland built the house and grew the food, she's as deluded as the old man who hoped to spend 12 months engaged in vigorous intercourse, pampered by his new wife in idyllic surroundings. This is a fascinating story but its impossible to feel anything but irritation at these two characters and Roeg does nothing to pull us toward either of them. He seems content to be a bit of letch himself, focusing on Donahoe's nakedness while mercifully sparing us shots of Reed's reed. Ultimately Irving's story confirms something we already knew, namely that Robinson Crusoe is a great story but it makes a lousy lifestyle choice for a mismatched couple from west London who would normally get no closer to the life of self-sufficiency than a visit to M and S. It wouldn't have taken us a year to figure it out either. Pity they had to come back.

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