Father Goose [VHS]
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Product Description

Cary Grant's penultimate feature before retirement was this cheerful 1964 effort to overturn his career-long image of urbane sophistication. As the unshaven, messy misanthrope Walter Eckland, a World War II-era beach bum who monitors Japanese air activity for the Australian navy in exchange for booze, Grant makes a convincingly hard-bitten, hard-drinking antihero. Until, that is, a pretty French schoolmistress (Leslie Caron) and her seven little charges (all girls) survive a nearby plane crash and invade Eckland's raunchy isolation. Directed by 1960s hit-maker Ralph Nelson (The Lilies of the Field, Charly), Father Goose is a glossy comedy that also does justice to its more suspenseful scenes (a deadly snakebite suffered by Caron's character is especially memorable) and leaves plenty of room for Grant to indulge in some entertaining if atypical screen behavior. All in all, this is a minor treat in the actor's magnificent filmography. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Social Dropouts Viewers Love
    It's surprising that no one has mentioned the plot similarities between "Father Goose" and "The African Queen." Both depict cynical men who have become disillusioned and dropped out of society. Both are forced by circumstance to help ultra-civilized, uptight women escape from invading enemies. In each film the hero and the heroine have to make accommodations in order to survive. By the end of the film they're in love. The difference between the two movies is that "The African Queen" is a drama with comedic elements, and "Father Goose" is a comedy with dramatic elements. Cary Grant had the talent to play any kind of part, but he learned early in his career that his fans wanted him to play "Cary Grant," and he didn't didn't disappoint them....more info
  • Father Goose
    This is one of the best "classic" movies ever! Both my husband and I
    love this movie....more info
  • Love the movie-the DVD quality should be better
    It's a Carey Grant movie-love it. I am disappointed that it was not re-mastered. I have a Blu-ray player and Samsung LCD TV with 7.1 surround system. The system automatically resizes for best quality. Which for me means the picture is not widescreen. The sound is not digital quality either. Given the option of watching on a VCR or this DVD-I would still pick the DVD. A little disappointed in the quality....more info
  • The other side of Cary Grant
    One of Cary Grant and Trevor Howard's later films, Father Goose draws on Grant's darker comedic side, casting him as a drunken, societal drop-out forced into supporting the allied war effort in WW-II. The brilliant chicanery that Trevor Howard must use to enlist Grant's support is hilarious. Grant is cast opposite a much younger Leslie Caron, who must deal with young children she is responsible for and Grant's curmudgeonly demeanor. Wildly funny in many places, this could be considered one of Grant's best comedic performances....more info
  • old time movie
    Easy going movie with good old actors you can count on and enjoy. I enjoyed watching it again for it had been sometime since I seen it....more info
  • A WONDERFUL COMEDY!
    I am deffinatly not the type of person to watch old movies. I don't likE them and find them irritating but when I saw Father Goose I all but busted a gut laughing. This movie truly is a wonderful comedy with a hint of romance and action! This movie is perfect for parents and kids to watch together....more info
  • A romantic comedy in the old style
    If you liked the original 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 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....more info

  • "Is it getting hot in here?"
    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....more info

  • To Cary, Or Not To Cary, What Will I Grant.
    This is Cary Grant at his best, he is about the most virsital
    actor in his time. and when he did Father Goose he realy did it
    good. The show is fun. humorous, and has a great story line.
    I put this movie in with my all time favorites. and a must to see. get the popcorn ready and get the kids set down and enjoy the show. My kids loved it as a family tridition, they watched it many times. I promise you will enjoy it too....more info
  • A scruffy Cary Grant? But it works. Bigtime.
    We're used to seeing Grant in a tuxedo carrying a martini glass--when you think "debonair", the picture that goes with that word is that of Cary Grant. I heard somewher that he was on a short list of candidates to play James Bond in "Dr. No" before they settled on Connery. In this film, to say Grant "dresses down" is putting it mildly--as he plays a former college professor turned beachcomber who is caught lifting supplies from an Australian naval base during WW II and drafted into their coastwatcher corps to stay out of prison. Leslie Caron figures in as a governess of a group of young daughters of diplomatic personnel who are stranded on a fellow coastwatcher's island, but now that Grant's colleague has been killed in a strafing run, Grant's their new host. Grant hardly feels like a host, and the negative chemistry between him and Caron makes for quite a few laughs. But in my opinion, one of the biggest yucks in this film is a sight/ sound gag early on. After Grant is loaded up with supplies at the base (now voluntarily), he shoves off. The base's exec expresses his doubts that the commander (Trevor Howard) can trust Grant not to take the provisions and run. Howard pooh-poohs his subordinate's worries. The next scene shows Grant steaming along liesurely to a woodwind version of the film's theme "Pass Me By" on the soundtrack. The music shifts to a Sousa-esque brass band version of the tune as the camera shifts to a huge gunboat rumbling along in Grant's wake. Absolutely great! And then some....more info
  • Grant at His Best
    No doubt about it, Grant was a master. In Father Goose he gets to play aging curmudgeon opposite Leslie Caron's delightfully uptight ingenue and both succeed on every level. The chemistry here is great and the movie never loses focus of its light romantic comedy tone. The dialog is impeccable, the performances sharp and the repartee utterly engaging. And this goes not only for Grant's relationship with Caron, but extends into the "over the microphone" relationship with Trevor Howard, wonderfully and dryly droll. Likewise, the kids are all spot on. They aren't there just for comic relief and unlike modern day comedies, they don't overwhelm the piece. Each was cast perfectly and they support the movie well.

    I get the feeling that Harrison Ford was trying to do a remake (without really doing a remake) of this movie when he ended up doing "Six Days and Seven Nights," and that movie could be a lesson in how not to compete with a screen legend. Ford tries too hard in that film, something that only points out how masterful Grant was. Smooth as fine whiskey, Grant never pushed, never tried to hard. He just exists in the skin of the character and underplays it beautifully. And Caron -- who should have been a much bigger star than she became -- is exceptional as well....more info
  • Father Goose
    I could not find this DVD anywhere and thought I would take a chance with your company. I was thrilled to find it on your site. This brings back lots of memories as a child. I love it and it arrived in a timely manner and in great shape when it arrived. I have enjoyed it so much!

    Thanks for having the great old movies as well as the new ones!

    Jackie Richardson...more info
  • My husbands favorite Cary Grant movie
    I don't know how many times we watched this movie. It never gets old to my husband though. He loves it. I think it's okay. Cary Grant has a hard, insensitive personality in this film. I guess I prefer him to be Suave and more romantic. But it is funny. Any Cary Grant lover will like this movie....more info
  • "Married?....Goody two-shoes and the Filthy Beast?"
    For those of you that aren't familiar with this movie. It is a fun, entertaining, well-paced movie that everyone can enjoy. This was Cary Grant's next to the last movie, and I think his best. He is in top form as Walter Eckland a social-recluse who's oblivious to the WWII events taking place around him. Having divorced himself from society, his philosophy is: "If the world can't learn to get along, they'll have to do it without me". Trevor Howard plays the British naval commander with the code name "Big Bad Wolf". To avoid having his "$200 yacht" confiscated, Cary is forced to "volunteer" into the coast-watching service and assume the radio code-name "Mother Goose". The interplay between these two old pros, Trevor and Cary is great to watch. Also a great scene when Cary tries to teach Leslie Caron how to fish: "Quiet,here she comes." "How do you know it's a she?" "Her mouth is open, now be quiet!" Great chemistry between the two and very funny! A charming movie the whole family can enjoy. Highly recommended!
    ...more info
  • Better than I remembered
    Father Goose is a delightful movie. It is pure entertainment for those who like romantic comedies - no big underlying message just fun....more info
  • father goose
    we are both big cary grant fans and this movie shows him at his humorous best. photography and the scenes are beautiful with the plot and acting very enjoyable. we try even to watch this movie when it's on tv. we even know a lot of the dialogue. in short, it is just a good clean story that still makes us smile. ...more info
  • Wonderful!!
    Timeless classic...a must for anyone's movie collection. A near perfect role for Grant at that time in his career and it's a brilliant performance....more info
  • Love it, Love it!!!
    My children are ages 5-12 1/2 and thoroughly enjoy this movie... the story is very fun and shows off the talents of the actors. It is probably one of Cary Grant's best kept secrets of some of his best movies. We loved it and love it every time we watch....more info
  • father goose
    one of the best movies ever! it doesn't matter if you are 6 or 60. you will enjoy this picture. timeless and classic!...more info
  • SERVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
    AFTER WATCHING THIS DVD FOR SEVERAL TIMES, I HAVE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THIS MOVIE IS ONE OF MY FAVORIATE MOVIES. FATHER GOOSE KEPT ME LAUGHTING FROM START TO FINISH. THIS MOVIE ALSO HAD TWO PEOPLE WHO HATED EACH OTHER BECAME LOVERS AND GOT MARRIED, THROUGH SO MANY OBSTACLE. ALSO CARY GRANT IS A GREAT AND VERSITILE ACTOR. I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMEND THIS MOVIE TO OUR AMAZON CUSTOMERS....more info
  • shipment of Father Goose movie - Excellent
    Thanks for the prompt delivery of movie. It is a favorite in our family....more info
  • Good sunday family movie
    Cary Grant was a Great actor with countless memorable films. Although that this film is not amongst his very best, it is a fun movie with a good plot that may be watch by the whole family with pleasure. It is a war comedy with kids in main roles and one may see some Disney influence. But Grant offers us one of his typical (in a good sence) perfomance that wilkl satisfy his funs. Enjoy it....more info
  • Father Goose
    "Father Goose: was a movie I had seen and enjoyed a long time ago, I rembered the name of the film, but could not find it locally. I contacted "Amazon", its was in stock and I received it in a few days. I was very pleased with your quick attention to my simple request. I will be coming to you for future purchases. ...more info
  • I love old movies!
    this is a delightfully fun movie. Goody Two-Shoes and the Filthy Beast is the greatest line ever!...more info
  • A Cantankerous comical romance!
    For it's time; Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard and all of the supporting cast, offer audiences much laughter in a good wholesome movie, that eventually brings out the best in everyone! If you are stressed out, pop this movie into your player and release some of that bottled up tension! After all, laughter is the best medicine! ...more info