Hollywood Survival: 'Cast Away' (2000)

A critical look at ten of the silver screen's oddest, most entertaining, and occasionally even accurate techniques for dealing with disaster

SCENARIO: When a broken section of a Port-A-Potty washes onto the beach, four-year castaway Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) fashions it into a sail for a makeshift raft and uses it to escape the island. Given the circumstances, would a boat like Chuck's have any chance of making it to shore?

THE EXPERT SAYS: It may not be the most glamorous craft, but “survival is all about improvising,” says Nester, and the Port-A-Potty seems to be Chuck's best option. It’s common to see people trapped in long-term survival scenarios developing a "MacGyver-esque approach.” This particular craft may not have held up in real life, but the makeshift sail “shows the brilliance of his thinking and his ability to improvise," and a person with that type of mentality is the most likely to survive.

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