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The Best Desert Island Movies

Updated March 5, 2020 753 votes 252 voters 24.2k views27 items

This list may not be marooned on far away shores, but it does have lots of awesome desert island movies, ranked from best to worst by user votes. The best desert island movies offer adventure as they showcase the lead characters' will to survive. Desert island films often feature one man's journey, but some of the best shipwrecked movies include star-studded casts. A few of the best stranded films are even based on true stories.

What films will you find on this best desert island movies list? All you need to make a great movie is Tom Hanks, as proven by the 2000 survival movie, Cast Away. After getting stranded on a desert island, Chuck Noland (Hanks) befriends a volleyball named Wilson and does whatever it takes to make it back home. The Blue Lagoon is another one of the best desert island movies.

Animal instincts quickly come to the surface in the classic film Lord of the Flies, which is based on William Golding's 1954 novel of the same name. Other good movies that are featured on this top desert island films list include Swept Away, The Beach, and Life of Pi.

How will we ever determine which movie deserves the top spot on this list? Help us decide by giving the best films a thumbs up and add any other deserted island films you love that aren't already listed.

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  • Cast Away1
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    Cast Away

    Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt

    Released2000

    Directed byRobert Zemeckis

    Cast Away is a 2000 American adventure drama film directed and produced by Robert Zemeckis and...  more

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  • Swiss Family Robinson2
    41
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    Swiss Family Robinson

    John Mills, Dorothy McGuire

    Released1960

    Directed byKen Annakin

    Swiss Family Robinson is a 1960 British-American family film starring John Mills, Dorothy...  more

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  • Six Days Seven Nights3
    36
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    Six Days Seven Nights

    Harrison Ford, Anne Heche

    Released1998

    Directed byIvan Reitman

    Six Days Seven Nights is a 1998 adventure-comedy film, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring...  more

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    #583 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#17 of 32 Great Movies Set on the Beach

  • The Blue Lagoon4
    40
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    The Blue Lagoon

    Brooke Shields, William Daniels

    Released1980

    Directed byRandal Kleiser

    The Blue Lagoon is a 1980 American romantic adventure film directed by Randal Kleiser. The...  more

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  • Robinson Crusoe5
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    Robinson Crusoe

    Dan O'Herlihy, Jaime Fernández

    Released1954

    Directed byLuis Buñuel

    Robinson Crusoe is a 1954 Mexican film by director Luis Buñuel, based on the novel Robinson...  more
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins6
    Island of the Blue Dolphins is a 1960 children's novel written by Scott O'Dell. The story of a...  more
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  • Life of Pi7
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    Life of Pi

    Gérard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan

    Released2012

    Directed byAng Lee

    Life of Pi is a 2012 American historical drama film directed by Ang Lee, based on the novel of...  more

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  • The Beach8
    28
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    The Beach

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton

    Released2000

    Directed byDanny Boyle

    The Beach is a 2000 adventure drama film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the 1996 novel...  more

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  • Lord of the Flies9
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    Lord of the Flies

    Nicholas Hammond, James Aubrey

    Released1963

    Directed byPeter Brook

    Lord of the Flies is a 1963 British film adaptation of William Golding's novel of the same...  more

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  • Blue Lagoon: The Awakening10
    5
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    Blue Lagoon: The Awakening

    Denise Richards, Indiana Evans

    Released2012

    Directed byMikael Salomon, Jake Newsome

    Blue Lagoon: The Awakening is an American television film that premiered on Lifetime on June...  more
  • Swept Away11
    18
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    Swept Away

    Madonna, Elizabeth Banks

    Released2002

    Directed byGuy Ritchie

    Swept Away is a 2002 romantic comedy film directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Madonna,...  more

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  • Castaway12
    10
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    Castaway

    Oliver Reed, Amanda Donohoe

    Released1986

    Directed byNicolas Roeg

    Castaway is a 1986 film starring Amanda Donohoe and Oliver Reed, and directed by Nicolas Roeg....  more
  • The Island13
    5
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    The Island

    Michael Caine, David Warner

    Released1980

    Directed byMichael Ritchie

    The Island is a 1980 American thriller film, directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Michael...  more
  • Castaway on the Moon14
    7
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    Castaway on the Moon

    Jung Ryeo-won, Jung Jae-young

    Released2009

    Directed byLee Hae-jun

    "Accomplished and original, Castaway on the Moon is a fascinating love story by one of South...  more
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  • Paradise Lagoon15
    15
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    Paradise Lagoon

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  • Paradise16
    4
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    Paradise

    Phoebe Cates, Willie Aames

    Released1982

    Directed byStuart Gillard

    Paradise is a 1982 English language Canadian-produced romance and adventure film starring...  more
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides17
    4
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    Released2011

    Directed byRob Marshall

    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a 2011 action adventure film directed by Rob...  more

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  • Return to the Blue Lagoon18
    4
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    Return to the Blue Lagoon

    Milla Jovovich, Gus Mercurio

    Released1991

    Directed byWilliam A. Graham

    Return to the Blue Lagoon is a 1991 American romance and adventure film starring Milla...  more

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  • Rescue from Gilligan's Island19
    2
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    Rescue from Gilligan's Island

    Dawn Wells, Alan Hale

    Released1978

    Directed byLeslie H. Martinson

    Rescue from Gilligan's Island is a 1978 two-part television movie that continues the...  more
  • The Castaways on Gilligan's Island20
    2
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    Released1979

    Directed byEarl Bellamy

    The Castaways on Gilligan's Island is a 1979 television movie that continues the adventures of...  more
  • Nim's Island21
    14
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    Nim's Island

    Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler

    Released2008

    Directed byMark Levin, Jennifer Flackett

    Nim's Island is a 2008 American-Australian adventure-fantasy film directed by Jennifer...  more

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  • The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island22
    2
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    The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island

    Dawn Wells, Martin Landau

    Released1981

    Directed byPeter Baldwin, Peter Baldwin

    The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island is a 1981 made-for-television movie. It is the...  more
  • Trouble in Paradise23
    2
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    Trouble in Paradise

    Raquel Welch, Nicholas Hammond

    Released1989

    Directed byDi Drew

    Trouble in Paradise is a 1989 film directed by Di Drew....  more
  • Sweetheart24
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    Sweetheart

    Kiersey Clemons, Emory Cohen

    Released2019

    Directed byJ.D. Dillard

    Sweetheart is a 2019 American survival horror film directed by J.D. Dillard. Jenn (Kiersey...  more
  • Horrors of Spider Island25
    9
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    Horrors of Spider Island

    Alexander D'Arcy, Barbara Valentin

    Released1960

    Directed byFranz Böttger

    Horrors of Spider Island is a 1960 West German horror film directed by Fritz Böttger. The film...  more