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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic comedy in the old style
If you liked the original The Odd Couple - slob and compulsive neatnik thrown together in the same apartment - or Heaven Knows Mr. Allison - tough guy WWII Marine marooned on an enemy-held South Pacific island with a pretty nun, then you should enjoy FATHER GOOSE starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard. I saw it once again on the telly this past weekend while...
Published on May 2, 2002 by Joseph Haschka

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie but not the format...
The 3 star rating for this DVD is because it's an unadvertised non-anamorphic 4:3 movie. This was the same problem I had "Operation Petticoat" both Republic mastering. The movie is a 5 star favorite although the production has not aged well, but still great chemistry between the stars.
Published on December 8, 2010 by Illustratedman


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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic comedy in the old style, May 2, 2002
This review is from: Father Goose [VHS] (VHS Tape)
If you liked the original The Odd Couple - slob and compulsive neatnik thrown together in the same apartment - or Heaven Knows Mr. Allison - tough guy WWII Marine marooned on an enemy-held South Pacific island with a pretty nun, then you should enjoy FATHER GOOSE starring Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard. I saw it once again on the telly this past weekend while doing the ironing, and I'm fortunate to be old enough to have an appreciation of all three films.

Grant is Walter Eckland, an antisocial, unkempt escapee from "civilization" that spends his time bumming around the South Seas on an old yacht. At the start of WWII, he's coerced into service as a "coast watcher", an observer stationed on a remote island as a lookout for Japanese planes or ships, by the wily and dry-witted local Royal Australian Navy authority figure, Comdr. Houghton (Howard). Eckland is bribed with booze to perform in His Majesty's service. One of his first assignments is to boat over to another island and rescue a fellow coast watcher. But, on arriving, he finds only his colleague's grave and the Caron character, Catherine Freneau, the daughter of a French government official, who's been stranded with a bevy of underage schoolgirls of which she has charge. Walter naturally takes them back to his island and his hovel, where the differences between the two adults soon surface. To Eckland, Freneau becomes "Goody Two Shoes", while, to the latter, her knight in stained armor becomes the "Filthy Beast".

While admittedly silly entertainment, FATHER GOOSE is a delightful romantic comedy that doesn't, like some of the current Tinseltown offerings, rely for laughs on sensitive body parts being caught in zippers, bodily fluids masquerading as hair gel, or carnal knowledge of apple pies. This film has Class, chiefly due to the presence of Grant, who character demonstrates more suavity unshaven and without socks than any one of today's crop of male actors dressed up in a tux. (Perhaps only Sean Connery, Robert Redford and Paul Newman are close to being in the same league.) Caron's strong-willed and very feminine Freneau is more than a match for Eckland's obstinately boorish masculinity - a pairing made in heaven, or at least Hollywood.

Perhaps my high esteem for this film is more a function of nostalgia. But there're a lot of other films from that same period of my youth that are eminently forgettable, so I have to think that FATHER GOOSE is a cut above.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father Goose, March 25, 2008
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
Cary Grant is cast as Walter Eckland in this very funny classic comedy. His normal sexy leading man characteristics are downplayed to let his comedic genius shine through. He stars opposite Leslie Caron cast as Catherine Freneau. They are an accident waiting for a place to happen at their first meeting, and it just gets worse from there. Walter is bribed and threatened into service as a watcher in WWII. Catherine is a diplomat's daughter given the responsibility of escorting several school children into a safer area. When they are all stranded together, the hilarity, and battle of the sexes begins.

This is one of my favorite comedies, and one of Cary Grant's last movies. No one does it like he does. A great film that the entire family can enjoy together.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Is it getting hot in here?", April 29, 2002
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
One of the immortal Cary Grant's last films, this particular one is a romantic, witty little gem. Well-scripted, well-acted, and full of really weird humor, this is one to treasure.
Walter Eckland has no intention of getting himself involved in World War II -- no intention, that is, until he is "drafted" into service to the Allies. Basically he needs to keep an eye open for the Japanese. He reluctantly obeys, but his mission suddenly takes a weird turn when he rescues a slew of civilians: the prim, devious schoolteacher Miss Freneau, and her seven little girl charges. Before Eckland knows what's happening, they've taken over his little house, his clothes, his food -- and his whisky. (It's the last one that really makes him nuts) To his horror, they won't be picked up for at least three weeks.
An extended, very witty battle of the sexes takes place, as Miss Freneau dodges and weaves around Eckland, and Eckland tries to retain some mastery over his domain. But a series of crises (comical and serious) force Eckland and Freneau not only to deal with the Japanese, but also with each other.
Cary Grant shows more of his versatility in this film, since his comical talents are usually passed by in favor of his rugged sexiness. That sexiness is buried in this one, under the scraggliness of a beachcomber who is rebelling against the world with alcohol. Revelations about his past are somehow quite appropriate; as a character in another of Grant's movies said, "you have unexpected depth."
Leslie Caron, whom I had previously seen only in "Gigi," is also in rare form here. She makes Miss Freneau both sympathetic and mildly repressed, with a dry wit and a very devious mind. She also manages one of the funniest scenes I have ever seen in a movie, where Miss Freneau gets drunk after being bitten by a snake. Her acrobatics ("Ooooooh, is it getting hot in here?"), weird confessions ("I'm a picture straightener!") and the occasional lapse into insanity ("Tell me, I want to know, what did my blood taste like?") are too funny for words.
Other highlights include the chaplain and the accordian player, and the delightfully deadpan Trevor Howard as a Navy commander who's not afraid to play dirty. The writing is excellent; the mutual realizations by Freneau and Eckland may seem a little hasty and contrived, but that can be easily passed by.
This is fine to watch with the kiddies -- there is virtually no profanity, no smut, a little non-bloody violence, and children will probably enjoy the antics of the seven little girls (such as the of-repeated whine "I wanna go home!"). There is one scene of drunkenness, however, and we are treated to sly indicators of more mature material ("he... he made a GESTURE, sir!" "Oooh, he called the captain a dirty name"). The little girls themselves are remarkably well-acted by believable child actors, except for the oldest one. One particular highlight is the little girl who keeps biting Eckland's hand.
Recommended especially for romantic comedy fans, and for fans of Caron and Grant. Or simply watch if you're in the mood for fun.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie, so-so Blu-Ray, August 23, 2013
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This review is from: Father Goose [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
First let me say that this is one of my favorite movies. The interactions between Cary Grant, Leslie Caron and Trevor Howard are absolutely classic. I could watch this movie over and over again (hey, I could do a one-man show acting out all the parts). However, this Blu-Ray commands a premium price (to me, any Blu-Ray over $20 is premium, most Blu-Rays are priced less than $20). So with a premium price, do I get a premium Blu-Ray? Hardly.

1) The picture is HD, and while it is not the best I have seen (for a wonderful Blu-Ray of an old movie see North by Northwest or Wizard of Oz) it is acceptable.

2) There are no subtitles. None. This amazes me because the bargain basement DVDs of Cary Grant I bought recently all have subtitles. There is no excuse for this whatsoever!

3) There is only one soundtrack in English. While this is not that big of an issue to me, it doesn't fit in with the premium price.

4) There are no extras whatsoever. Most of the older movie that I pick up in Blu-Ray contain commentaries, newsreels, cartoons, making-of documentaries and other items. This Blu-Ray has the movie and nothing else.

If this Blu-Ray was priced at $10 or less, I would award it 5 stars. But since it commands a premium price, I can award it only three stars. However, even knowing what I do about the defects of the Blu-Ray, I would still buy it, so I have to bump the stars by one: four stars.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic comedy!, August 6, 2000
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This review is from: Father Goose [VHS] (VHS Tape)
"Father Goose" is one of my all-time favorite movies. Made in 1964, it's a warm, slightly off-beat romantic comedy, starring Cary Grant and Leslie Caron.
Walter Eckland (Grant) is an irascible, middle-aged, slightly besotted curmudgeon sailing the South Pacific during World War II in search of...well, something...anything! After getting caught "borrowing" some gasoline from the British Navy for his boat, he's blackmailed into serving as a plane spotter. Resentful after being stranded on a tiny island, he misses his liquid companionship, which the Navy has taken from him and hidden. So, Walter vows not to lift a finger to help the Navy. He relents, though, (after being promised some liquid refreshment) and motors on over to a neighboring island to rescue a fellow plane spotter in danger of capture by the Japanese.
Alas, the fellow plane spotter is dead. Walter instead finds Catherine Freneau, a very proper, teetotaling, but attractive French schoolteacher with seven young girls in her care. Stranded on the neighboring island, she asks Walter for help. He reluctantly agrees, and they all return to Walter's home base. And then...
Well, I won't give the story away. Needless to say, fireworks erupt between Catherine and Walter, and the classic battle of the sexes is on!
This is a very funny movie, although it's probably better for the guffaw and the bellylaugh, rather than the outright howl of laughter. Grant is superb in his role as the gruff but kind-hearted Walter (a refreshing departure from his usual role as a romantic "smoothie"), and Caron nearly steals the show with her comic portrayal of the equally warm-hearted schoolma'arm hiding behind a facade of old-fashioned primness.
If you like a good old-fashioned romantic comedy with great action, a superb plot, sparkling screenplay, lots of laughs, AND featuring your favorite stars...you'll love Father Goose!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father Goose is Cary Grant at his best!, March 25, 2004
By 
John Dziadecki (Louisville, CO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
"Father Goose" is a lot of fun and is arguably Cary Grant's funniest and finest film. Yes, he was great in "Charade", "North by Northwest", "Notorious", etc -- but here his honed skills and comedic timing pay off in this very funny film and makes it well worth seeing. You don't have to be a Cary Grant fan to enjoy this film -- but after seeing it, you will be.
"Father Goose" was nominated for Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) by the Golden Globe and won an Oscars for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay - Written Directly for the Screen in 1965. The cast, production, direction, photography, story -- all are top notch.
The film looks terrific on DVD with an aspect ratio of 1.85. The South Pacific cinematography adds greatly to the visual impact of this film. There are brief bios and filmographies of the priniciples. That's all. No further extras. This film is 16x9 enhanced.
Highly recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grant's Skills on Full Display in Lighthearted WWII Romp With a Game Caron, December 20, 2005
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
I have a certain fondness for this 1964 movie because it is one of the earliest I remember seeing in the back of my parents' 1963 Rambler station wagon at the now-defunct Burlingame Drive-In near San Francisco. The film's catchy theme song, "Pass Me By", was in my head for years. In the intervening years, I have come to recognize Cary Grant's immaculate precision as a comic actor, and even playing a grizzled, alcoholic beachcomber like Walter Eckland, he still exudes the sharp wit and crack timing that is his hallmark. In fact, Grant is at the top of his game here.

Sharply written by Peter Stone and Frank Tarloff, the story revolves around Eckland's futile attempts to remain reclusive aboard his boat tooling around the South Pacific. Unfortunately, WWII is raging on, and the British Navy need to use him as a hidden spotter of Japanese fighter planes. He is tricked into the role and remains shipwrecked manning his post on an isolated island. Enter Catherine Freneau, a priggish French schoolteacher, who has been stranded on another island with seven schoolgirls. Eckland fetches them, and they all cohabitate with inevitable shenanigans occurring.

Director Ralph Nelson, who generally made relatively lightweight fare, keeps the story fairly facile until they come under attack and a suspenseful element is carried through to the end. In what turned out to be his last leading role, romantic or otherwise, Grant was applauded at the time for dispensing with his suave manner to inhabit this character, but actually it's a throwback to the everyman characters he played in "Only Angels Have Wings" and "Gunga Din". The difference is that at age sixty, he displays his talents as both romantic comedy lead and action hero with such seasoned adroitness.

As Catherine, Leslie Caron demonstrates just how greatly underrated she is as a comedy actress. Even though her character threatens to be strenuously rigid, she conveys Catherine's vulnerability with subtle nuance and also has a very funny drunk scene where she gets to show off her ballet dancer gams. Grant and Caron have great chemistry. Trevor Howard dryly plays Eckland's friendly adversary, Commander Houghton, who transmits instructions by ham radio, and the girls are all gratefully portrayed with individual personalities. I have always been impressed how this film maintains its light heart and humor even though it's clear that the wartime setting is a critical element of the plot. It remains good, solid entertainment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fancy and Reality play well together, September 24, 2002
This review is from: Father Goose [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Essentially a comedy FATHER GOOSE dabbles into some of the realities of World War II in the South Pacific. Credit for this can be given to Cary Grant's surly yet sophisticated approach to this type of role and Ralph Nelson's direction which uses comedy as a canvas to spin his tale tinged with the realities and frailties that are encountered in life's many challenges not to mention relationships. I could not help but think as I watched this film that Cary Grant really stood his ground as an actor because the seven little girls really could have stole this picture away from most adult actors. Leslie Caron is also good as she brings a sense of level headed femininity to counter Cary Grant's gruff response to having his solitude encroached on by "civilization" and all that implies. This is an enjoyable film.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grant is no quack actor! (recommended), May 2, 2006
By 
K. Williams (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
For years, unappealing plot descriptions repelled me from FATHER GOOSE. No matter how you describe the combination of drunkenness, WWII Japanese invasions, and French school maidens, it doesn't sound interesting. The movie title seems only to add insult to injury. Nothing about it reads like a Cary Grant movie. Nevertheless, since each prior Grant movie purchase has been a good investment in long-lasting entertainment I parted with ten bucks and hit the jackpot. Despite the odd descriptions FATHER GOOSE is, believe it or not, a romantic comedy!

Shedding his usually debonair role, Cary Grant plays Walter Eckland, an embittered boat owner who abandoned his teaching career to live on the sea, drinking this life away. Through deceit and booze bribing he is enlisted into the service of U.S. armed forces to become a lookout for Japanese fighter planes on a deserted island. The movie grows into what becomes an appropriate title after he discovers French schoolmistress Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron) seeking refuge for seven young girls. Picture all of them following Walter like baby geese. Self-interest eventually expands as he makes sacrifices for -- even risks his life to help others. The experience gives new meaning to the life previously abandoned to alcohol. Through it all, a mutual attraction develops between him and Catherine. Now, if they can just get off the island alive! Though peril is evident, the cast portrays it in a lighthearted manner with plenty of witty lines.

I am happy I finally "risked" purchase of this delightful Grant gem. Hopefully you will enjoy it too -- despite my addition to many existing "inadequate" plot descriptions.

Movie quote: "So far you've shared me out of my clothes, my food and my house. Now, how about sharing some of my things with me."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Father Goose, February 24, 2006
This review is from: Father Goose (DVD)
Cary Grant is wonderful in this. He and Leslie Caron work well together in this romantic comeody. Grant is not his usual charming self in this one, but you'll love him just the same.
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Father Goose [Blu-ray]
Father Goose [Blu-ray] by Ralph Nelson (Blu-ray - 2013)
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