Exile (1990 film)

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Exile was a 1990 telefilm shown on The Wonderful World of Disney on NBC premiering on January 14, 1990.

The plot focused on a group of teenage castaways on an uninhabited tropical island after a plane crash.

It was loosely based on the plot of Lord of the Flies, only with most symbolism reversed: the Beasts were good, adults were a force of chaos, and the teenagers were a force of order.

Plot summary[edit]

A group of teenagers verging on adulthood are to spend a year in a remote village in Indonesia, learning to live on the same terms as the people in that village. Their teacher is going along as well, but he decides to make a little extra money along the way: he cancels out on their scheduled transport to the village's nearest airport and hires a decrepit plane and its pilot, who's seen better days for his income. The deal is that the pilot will make out the receipt for a higher amount than the teacher actually pays.

The pilot, in turn, makes a deal with drug dealers to make a delivery, so when the plane takes off with the students aboard and the teacher in the co-pilot's seat, it isn't flying the direction the teacher and the students require to get to their destination. The plane has mechanical troubles, and lands in the water near an island while the pilot checks it out. He informs the teacher that he'll have to return to an airport for repairs, and teacher says he's going along to make sure the pilot returns. That leaves the students on the island.

While they wait, some of them explore, but one dies in the rising tide after a rock traps his foot against another rock. As night approaches, they decide to leave the beach and find a better campsite. They leave a note for the pilot and teacher that they'll listen for the plane. Meanwhile, the plane is having even more mechanical problems, as the pilot gives a grim comment to the teacher.

Many of them quickly discover they need a leader to make decisions and serve as arbiter in disagreements. Having accepted one boy, they then decide on some rules, such as lavatory rules.

Some days later, the airplane is spotted next to the shore of the island. The leader leads them cross-country to the plane to check it out, and he briefly gets caught in quicksand and panics, but is extricated without threat to his life, although a passing snake rubbing behind him freaks him out.

They reach the plane and discover it is a wreck, with their dead teacher on board. There is no sign of the pilot. The students salvage everything they can from the plane for use in their campsite.

Some nights later, one of the students reports they're not alone on the island - he points to a campfire light in the distance. They check it out, moving carefully and stealthily, and discover the other person on the island is the pilot. They guide him back to the camp and he happily joins but is selfish, thinking of himself and not of the group. One boy found the drug stash in the plane and has figured out the pilot was using the flight to smuggle. He asks if they were on the right course the teacher intended; the pilot says they were nowhere near that course. But the student isn't going to share this info with the others.

The pilot takes one of the girls with him and returns to his camp on the far side of the island. The students arm themselves tribal style for war to recover their peer, and at the end of the movie, the pilot is sitting in the island's first institution: a jail, with one student holding the pilot's gun in his belt as he takes a turn at guard duty. The exiles await rescue.

Cast[edit]

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