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Surviving Gilligan's Island: The Incredibly True Story of the Longest Three Hour Tour in History (2001)

A fun behind-the-scenes look into the 60's television series, "Gilligan's Island."




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The further misadventures of the inept sailor, Gilligan and his fellow castaways, in an animated series.

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Stars: Bob Denver, Tina Louise


Cast overview, first billed only:
... Herself
... Himself
... Himself
... Tina Louise
... Dawn Wells
... Network Executive #1
... Alan Hale Jr.
... Sherwood Schwartz
... Natalie Schafer
... Jim Backus
... Bob Denver
... Russell Johnson
... Himself
... Network Executive #2
... Friend's Sister


The complete recapping adventure of the seven idiots trapped on a deserted island. No phones, no lights, no motor cars. Not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be. People portray not only Bob Denver, Alan Hale, Jim Backus, Natalie Schafer, Tina Louise, Russell Johnson and Dawn Wells but also portray them as their world famous characters. We also get behind the scenes looks at how Sherwood Schwartz attempted to put his show on the air, and how they did casting, and how everyone dealt with the publicity, like people thought Jim Backus and Natalie Scahfer were really married, and when they took a picture of Gilligan, Ginger and Mary Ann for the cover of TV Guide and cut off Mary Ann, and about Tina Louise taking a dislike to her character. The trials and tribulations are explored too, even to the moment when Jim Backus was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and the deaths of he, Alan Hale and Natalie Schafer. The real life Bob Denver, Russell Johnson and Dawn ... Written by Dylan Self <robocoptng986127@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Scandals. The Egos. The Fights. Find out what when on when the cameras went off.


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

14 October 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Surviving Gilligan's Island  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Dwayne Hickman, who appears here as a network executive, was the star of the earlier TV series "The Many Loves of Doby Gillis", in which Gilligan star Bob Denver had appeared as regular character Maynard G. Krebbs. See more »


As Dawn Wells, Samantha Harris says she won the 'Ms. Fitness' contest, but there was no such thing at the time "Gilligan's Island" was being filmed. The first fitness contest was held in the mid-nineties. Also, the term "Ms" was not in use at the time. "Miss Fitness" would have been the term used in that era. See more »


References The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

Marvelous, Nostalgic Look at an Amazing Phenomenon
15 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

With wit, charm and a decidedly protuding "tongue in cheek", the surviving "Gilligan's Island" cast gets together one more time, but ON THEIR TERMS...no "True Hollywood Story" paranoia here.

Using actors to portray them in their youth (as well as the deceased Backus, Hale and Schaefer), Dawn Wells, Bob Denver and Russell Johnson (along with Sherwood Schwarz, the show's creator) tell of the ups and downs of the longest tour in nautical history. The use of actors to tell the story's choppy history (it was hated by critics and CBS execs but loved by the public, much to CBS's confusion and dismay) can often be an 'iffy' proposal, but here it works wonders (the sudden jump of Wells into her "past" is especially funny and effective).

Their approach on the issue of Tina Louise (who long ago rejected the show) was honest but not as harsh as they likely could have been. Other stories, such as the demise of Jim Backus and Alan Hale and Natalie Schaefer's breast cancer, are very poignant and told with great dignity.

Special notice to Dwayne Hickman (Bob Denver's co-hort on DOBIE GILLIS) who does a nice cameo as a remarkably arrogant and dense CBS executive.

Overall, a well-developed story told beautifully, and a nostalgic trip on the SS Minnow sails smoothly. If only ALL tv shows had this chance to "finish the story"...

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