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Castaway - drama 2000


The Plot

Chuck Nolan, (played by Tom Hanks) works for the Fed Ex Delivery Company. This is a big delivery company in the United States.  It delivers all over the world.  He is planning to marry his girlfriend, Kelly, (played by Helen Hunt) and they are very much in love.


While flying to Australia, Chuck’s Fed Ex plane crashes during a storm, and he alone barely survives the crash and drifts to a small and uninhabited island, with virtually nothing to eat except crabs and coconuts.  Chuck learns to physically survive, but he must also face the emotional challenge of being completely alone (except  for the company of “Wilson,” who is in fact nothing more than a volleyball with a painted face).


After several years, Chuck decides to try to sail off the island. If he fails, he will drown in the ocean, but loneliness and his enduring love for Kelly move him to make the attempt.  Will he succeed?



Words and expressions you might not know


  • castaway - a person stuck on a small island, usually after a ship sinks. “To cast away” something is to throw it away.

  • pick-up - I’ll have another pick-up for you on Thursday. In the Fed Ex or delivery business, this is a noun that refers to the act of picking up a package.

  • took the liberty I took the liberty of sending this to myself.  To "take the liberty” of doing something is a fancy way of saying to do it, even if others may not approve and without asking permission

  • eternitiy - 87 hours is an eternity!  A great word which means forever, or perhaps until the end of time.

  • cosmos - The cosmos were created in less time. A scientific word that refers to the entire universe.

  • broke down - When his truck broke down, he stole a boy’s bicycle to do his delivery.  If any kind of machine “breaks down,” it stops working.

  • certified - Jack keeps getting certified to fly? To "certify” a person to do something, such as fly a plane, is to officially state that they are qualified to do it, often by giving them a license or certificate to do it.

  • metastasized - She went to the doctor. It wasn’t metastasized. A medical word that refers to cancer that has spread to different parts of the body.

  • beside the point - That’s beside the point. If something you say is “beside the point,” it is not relevant to the main part of the conversation.

  • hub - The new hub in Anchorage. A “hub” is an airport that an airline uses as a center of its operations, from which it flies to lots of other cities (Anchorage is the biggest city in the state of Alaska).

  • curb - He tripped on a curb holding the door open for me.  A “curb” is the edge of a sidewalk, where it meets the street.

  • wrapping - I love the wrapping.  “Wrapping” is the paper that covers a box.

  • deviating - Tell them we’re deviating South for weather.  To "deviate” from a planned route is to move in another direction.

  • life vest - Chuck, life vest!   A “life vest” is a type of padded shirt that people wear in order to be able to float in the water after a ship sinks or plane crashes.

  • SOS - Over here! SOS, please!  The letters “SOS,” when written out, are the international way of asking for help (It is an abreviation for “save our souls”).

  • killing me - This tooth is just killing me.  If something is “killing you,” it is hurting you very much.

  • miscellaneous - We need 425 feet of good rope plus another 50 feet for miscellaneous. A key word that means various or diverse things.

  • bringing that up - Do you have to keep bringing that up? Can’t we just forget it? To "bring up” something in a conversation is to start to talk about it.

  • option - It was the only option I had at the time.  A good word for a choice or possibility.

  • make it - We might just make it! Did that thought ever cross your brain?  In this case, to "make it” means to survive or succeed.

  • paddling - I’ll do all the paddling! You just hang on!  To "paddle” a boat is to move it forward while using oars (lengths of flat, thin wood) to push it through the water.

  • in the world - What in the world am I going to say to her?  An expression added to WH questions like what, who, where, why, when and even how to show emotion such as excitement, surprise or fear.

  • tragic - That was a terrible and tragic day.  A powerful adjective that refers to something horrible that causes great pain or suffering.

  • a handful - She’s a beautiful little girl. :: She’s a handful. If a child is “a handful,” it’s a lot of work to take care of.

  • put on hold - When your plane went down, everything just sort of got put on hold.  To "put a plan on hold” is to delay doing it until the situation becomes clearer or easier to deal with.

  • take up - I think about taking it up again. To "take up” a plan is to begin to do it.

  • figured out - They said they never figured out what caused the crash. To "figure out” a mystery or question is to solve or understand it.

  • drifted - You drifted about 500 miles; This is where your island was, about 600 miles South of the Cook Islands.   To "drift” on the water is to slowly float away, but in no particular direction.

  • headed - You look lost…where are you headed?   If a person is “headed,” somewhere, that is where they plan to go.

  • figure that out - I was just about to figure that out.  To "figure out” a question is to find the answer or solution to it.





Watching movies is a fun way to learn English!

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