Father Goose (1964)

Father Goose Poster

During World War II, South Sea beachcomber Walter Eckland is persuaded to spy on planes passing over his island. He gets more than he bargained for as schoolteacher Catherine Frenau arrives on the run from the Japanese with her pupils in tow!

"Father Goose" is a 1964 American Technicolor romantic funny film set in The second world war, directed by Ralph Nelson and starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, and Trevor Howard. The film is understood for its distinct mix of funny, action, and love, underpinned by exceptional efficiencies from the leading cast.

The story revolves around Walter Eckland (Cary Grant), a negative and scruffy beachcomber living in harmony on an island in the South Pacific until Commander Frank Houghton (Trevor Howard) pushes him into acting as a coast watcher for the British Royal Navy. Walter's primary task includes reporting any Japanese plane or ship sightings to Allies head offices.

One day, Walter saves a French schoolmistress, Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron), and seven girls from a close-by island following a Japanese battle. This unexpected arrival upends Walter's solitary existence. The high-spirited girls and their prim and appropriate teacher show to be annoyingly disruptive, presenting Walter with an unanticipated challenge.

Character Progression
Walter Eckland starts as a bad-tempered, singular male who shirks obligation and just agrees to his new role out of requirement. Nevertheless, overtime, with Catherine and the girls sharing his living space, he discovers himself slowly softening and ending up being protective and caring, progressing into the titular "Father Goose".

In spite of his preliminary resistance, he grows attached to the women and Catherine, showing a character arc and revealing a more compassionate side to his personality. Likewise, Catherine initially views Walter as an uncultured, selfish man, but grows to appreciate his kind heart and protective nature, eventually developing romantic sensations for him.

Conflict and Resolution
Catherine persistently prompts Walter to get in touch with a close-by ship to evacuate them. But Walter, concerned about revealing their position to the Japanese, at first withstands. The stress in between the two peaks when Walter is hurt throughout a Japanese aircraft attack, forcing Catherine to send a signal for help herself, which unintentionally triggers a Japanese ship to arrive at the island.

Nevertheless, Walter handles to dispose of the enemy soldiers, guaranteeing the group's safety. Soon after, an American submarine rescues them. In the end, it is revealed that Walter and Catherine have actually wed and continue their life together along with the girls.

"Father Goose" is a delightful, compelling, and heart-warming movie that perfectly juxtaposes the harsh realities of war with the comical and often tender interactions in between a gruff loner, a prim schoolmistress, and her young charges. The performances by Cary Grant and Leslie Caron are commendable, as they convincingly depict the change of their characters and their evolving relationship.

Filled with light humour, the movie excels in delivering a feel-good aspect amidst a war backdrop. It has won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1965. In general, "Father Goose" remains a lovely classic, offering an unusual take on World War II, with children and a love story at its center. The film's plot discuss the potential of human transformation and the power of unexpected bonds amidst not likely situations.

Top Cast