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This 1944 black-and-white film is the second part “Castaway” — a Willard Pictures creation for the Bureau of Aeronautics. It continues to follow a downed pilot, who after being adrift at sea for several days finds his way to a dry island. “The hunt for food is on and you’re not overlooking anything,” the narrator immediately explains at mark 00:10 at the pilot walks along the shoreline, picking up snails, scallops, and conch. Sleep envelops the pilot but by mark 1:30 he is back along the shore and comes across a pandanus tree with fruit high up on the trunk. He sets out on the ocean again at mark 02:35 only to have his raft (and his legs) punctured by a coral reef as he makes his way to another island. After tending to his wounds the pilot and getting some rest, he suddenly awakes at mark 07:00 to sounds of the tropics, as the narrator assures him that “they don’t mean a thing.” Gathering coconuts follows, with a reminder to the film’s pilot (and the viewer) that coconuts that have fallen to the ground are mature … and that the milk inside can work as a powerful laxative. After learning the proper way to crack into a coconut at mark 11:11, the pilot patches his raft at mark 12:40 (carefully explaining it to the audience in the process) and recalls which tropical plants are edible — and how to cook them.

Dinner is interrupted at mat 17:20 as the pilot catches a glimpse of an island native in the tall grass. “Be friendly. Show him you’re not afraid. Remember, they’re afraid of you, too,” the pilot reminds himself, and is soon offering his new friend a cigarette. “Natives are sticklers for ceremony and like to take their time. Get acquainted first,” the narrator adds at mark 18:45, explaining how you should try to develop some form of communication — even something as simple as tending to a wound. By mark 27:00, their new friendship has grown and led to contact with the outside world, as the pilot is finally rescued.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit

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