If "Castaway" really happened

I just saw the movie “Castaway” again on tv last night. You all know the ending: the presumed dead castway comes back after several years and finds his wife remarried and with kids. He ends up letting her go. I just wondered about if this were to happen in real life. If you were the wife, what would you do? Would you leave your second family to rejoin you real spouse? If you were the castaway, would you fight to get the wife back and break up her new family? What would the church say, doctrinally and pastorally, especially given the fact kids are involved? Maybe the thing to do is remain with the second husband but only live with him as brother and sister. What do you all think?


Tom Hanks movie, right?

I thought they were only engaged?
But then, it has been a while since I’ve seen this.

Theoretically, if they were married, then the one person is presumed dead, and the spouse remarries, the second marriage would be null in the eyes of the Church. It would be sinful for the new couple to remain together if the first marriage is valid.

Just one more thing to say…


Yes, I have to agree, the marriage with the first wife is the true and only marriage in this situation, even in such extraordinary cases. The truth is the truth and we are bound to it. But wow, what a cross it would have to be for the everyone (especially the second husband and kids) to bear. I cannot even imagine. I guess if my wife were to die, I would have to actually witness it or see remains before I would even consider remarrying. Well, for that matter, I couldn’t imagining remarrying anyone else anyway…


I can’t imagine the chruch would expect her to leave her husband and children. Her husband was presumed dead for years, like 7 years, right? That’s a long time. To leave her husband and children seems wrong, especially if she married him under the presumtion that she was a widow, making the second marriage valid.

They were not married. They were engaged. Hank’s character had given her the ring the night he left on that fateful flight.

I saw this movie before I returned to the Church. I remember being touched by it deeply. However, after seeing it a few times since, I am struck by the complete absence of any mention of God or faith. The castaway is completely self-driven and sees no “coincidence” as possible divine intervention. When the metal door washes onto shore allowing him to finally fashion a sail to effect his escape, there is no reflection about how this “miracle” came to be. Hanks plays this character as though the only thing driving him is his survival instinct, very Darwinian. While it is true that his love for his fiance sustains him, there is not one line in the entire 3 hour movie that even suggests God had any part in his survival.

I am compelled to contrast this film with the movie “Alive” which approaches the survival story from a completely different perspective. For me, movies, books, and tv programs that eliminate the “God” element fall flat and are not edifying in any way. They usually leave me feeling profoundly sad and empty.

They say there are no athiests in foxholes. The castaway certainly found himself in a “foxhole” type situation. I find it inconceivable that even the most devout atheist wouldn’t have a moment of reflection. The castaway, rather than turning to prayer or God, turns to a soccer ball. I know I’m suffering from mild paranoia, but for me this story line seemed almost deliberate. At the very least, it reflects a cultural shift from Christian faith to humanism.

Rant over!

It would be heartbreaking but if I have learned anything from these forums it is that when the Chuch investigates a marriage, it is concerned about what the actual circumstances were at the time of the marriage, not what everyone thought they were. So even if she thought she was a widow, she really had a living spouse. That would make the second marriage invalid.

In Castaway, they weren’t married - just engaged - so it doesn’t really matter from a legal/Catholic position? But remember the old movie with Doris Day and Rock Hudson? I have always wondered what they would have done if they were Catholic.

When I was young and first married many years ago , I would dreams that my husband had died and I had remarried after years of his being lost. i ALWAYS went back to my husband. We did not have kids at the time but I always returned to him. after all he was and is the love of my life. I think our souls and spirts will always do the right thing, but we as contiuos thinkers try to change what we know is the right thing.

The Castaway was not married. She did not think they needed to be married.I was surprised at how fast she married ( less the a year after he was lost) but people do strange things in crisis. I think in the end she left her husband and they reunited later in time. You can’t keep true love apart. I do love this movie.

People don’t always realize that God is behind their efforts therfore are not thankful for it. He ( the castaway) was not a religious person. He was living with his girlfriend and was never home. they had very seperate lives. To expect him to see miracles from God come his way, is expecting a lot.

The main problem with this movie is that they spelled the title as two words!

I think that was a play on words versus bad grammar, but who knows.

As I remember the film, Hanks and and girlfriend were living together, and he gave her a box that we assume was a ring as he boarded the plane that later crashed. Now had he actually been married, then his marriage would have still been valid in the eyes of the Church and perhaps the eyes of the law, too, unless of course he was declared legally dead, which still wouldn’t have any impact on his sacramental marriage. The vow is pretty clear that one is married until “death do us part.”

Pastorally, it would be a tricky situation for the priest to lend counsel.

Maybe that’s because they left out all the actors!!!

The new movie husband was a bit of a jerk. I would have grabbed the baby and run. :smiley:

IF they don’t believe in God they most probably believe in divorce.

What “they say” is wrong. Athiests are everywhere. Being in a foxhole may or may not change it, but it’s a pretty extreme statement to say there are none.

Even if there was a moment of reflection on the role of God in Tom Hank’s character’s life - over the course of 7 years (or however long it was), I don’t know if it would be a postive reflection.

Well, the guy did worship a soccer ball. . .

As another poster pointed out, the Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt characters in the movie were not married, only engaged, in which case staying with her husband and child was the right thing to do. If something like that did happen, then she would still be married to her first husband, and her second marriage would be null and void, since her first husband is still living.

At least, that’s what Wilson told me. :stuck_out_tongue:

Or volleyballism, as the case may be :slight_smile:


if it was me they probably wouldn’t be able to get me off of that island without a fight.:smiley:

Which brings up an interesting question: since there is no Eucharist or mass on the island, would a Catholic be obligated to seek rescue in such a circumstance?


I think he was a true Wilsonian.

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