I cannot remember not loving Father Goose. It was a great favorite of everyone in my family. Personally, I think it is one of Cary Grant’s best roles. The dissonance of seeing the normally impeccably groomed Grant as the irascible Scotch-swilling Walter Eckland provides much of the appeal–it gives Grant better ground to show off than simply playing the same well groomed, witty charmer.
The story is simple: Walter agrees to be a spotter on a deserted island, communicating with Royal Australian Navy officer Trevor Howard and his hapless junior officer by radio. Leslie Caron (often mistaken for Grant’s 4th wife, Dyan Canon, over the years) plays a proper schoolmistress caring for stranded pupils who, of course, end up on the island with him.
Caron, of course, is the romantic foil, the kids the comic foil. I especially like Harriett, who carries her cricket bat and insists on being called “Harry.” While Grant objected to the onscreen romance with Audrey Hepburn in Charade, he did not demur over the one in Father Goose with lovely young Leslie Caron. But then-girlfriend, soon-to-be wife, Dyan Cannon found their chemistry a bit much when she was on location with them in Jamaica. I must say they really do smolder on the screen. The prissy Catherine and the curmudgeonly Walter fall hard for each other but are both far too stubborn to say so!
This is such a fun movie! If you haven’t seen it, watch it soon–you won’t be sorry. Father Goose. Check out all the fun goof-ups in this film here. I love trying to spot these! I can almost always get silly historical mistakes, but now I want to re-watch it to see all the times the boat listed the “other” way from scene to scene.