It’s Friday night, time to apply Hollywood logic to a classic movie and see what happens.
Tonight we’re going to take the 1962 adaptation of Jules Verne’s classic In Search of the Castaways, we’re going to update it slightly, add some explosions, product placement and to save even more money, we can use scenes cut from other movies, which is something Hollywood has been doing for decades, let’s get started, shall we?
The original movie and the novel it came from features the young children of a sea captain who was lost at sea, a message in a bottle, adventures in foreign lands and a gunrunner.
That’s just a short description, you can read the full description on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Search_of_the_Castaways_(film)
A much better way to learn more about the movie would be to watch it of course, or to read Jules Verne’s classic itself.
First off we’ve got to update it, or at least parts of it, it would be quite easy to turn this into a sci fi epic, have them visit other planets in search of where a distress signal originated, add in a smuggler, maybe even a zombie planet to escape from, but I’m not going to take that track tonight.
Instead we’re going to set it during WWII.
However we need to slightly change the name, we’ll call this In Search of the Prisoners.
Now that we’ve got that done, let’s dive into the new plot.
1937: A test pilot is flying an experimental cargo plane he built himself over the Pacific Ocean when he vanishes, leaving no trace behind.
November 22nd, 1941: A water bottle made by a famous company (product placement!), washes up in Hawaii, it contains a message from the test pilot, it’s been damaged by mold, but a single coordinate remains, as well as the startling revelation that he had been captured by Nazis and held on an isle.
His younger brother, now a Marine, is assigned to lead a small team to rescue him. It’s a matter of national security as the test pilot might know something about enemy movements.
The next scene shows Pearl Harbor being bombed, this is a great place to use footage from other movies, if it’s done in black and white, with footage from all movies dealing with the attack on Pearl Harbor, there could be nearly a half hour of explosions and action.
Now the younger bother is on his way, via a submarine, to the isle that they suspect the test pilot is being held on. This would be a great spot for a battle between subs, or for depth charges to be dropped on the sub with our hero inside. Great action scene, the sub nearly sinking, but just making it to its destination.
The destination turns out to be an overgrown isle with nothing but a single fisherman on it, they are forced to move on to another likely island a hundred miles away.
As they arrive at the next island, the sub sinks, most of the crew survives, finds an abandoned yacht, a burned out hut and a handful of bodies, but not the test pilot.
While sailing to the next isle, add a bit of humor, none of the sailors from the sub is very skilled with sailing a yacht, they could also pick up an enemy survivor from a plane.
The next island has an enemy encampment, but it doesn’t hold the captive test pilot, but they do manage to steal a better boat, a few of the spare crew can be killed off here in a gun battle, it can be heroic, they could volunteer to hold off the enemy while the rest gets away.
One more island remains to be searched, morale is low, the young Marine wonders if they’ll ever find his brother.
However this last island is the correct one! The test pilot is alive and being forced to work on enemy planes.
Making contact with a local tribe that is supposed to be friendly, the would be rescuers get captured by Nazis.
Making a bold escape (after being interrogated of course), the rescuers turned prisoners manage to reach the test pilot, who was being rescued already by the survivors from the sub who were told to remain in hiding, together all of them make their way to an experimental air plane, as the test pilot starts warming up the plane, a handful go out and rigs explosives on the other planes.
As the experimental plane starts taxiing down the runway, the soldiers start firing at it, doing little, if any, damage.
As the plane gains the air, the other planes on the ground all explode. Cheers erupt on board the escaping plane and it fades to black.
That’s the movie, enough action to be a blockbuster, enough explosions to be a blockbuster and a war movie, everything modern Hollywood wants.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this rewriting of a classic, I know I have.
Feel free to comment.