Father Goose


1h 55m 1964
Father Goose

Brief Synopsis

A WWII drifter finds himself protecting schoolgirls and their beautiful teacher.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adventure
War
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 10 Dec 1964
Production Company
Granox Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Place of Dragons" by S. H. Barnett (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Synopsis

At the outbreak of World War II, American beachcomber Walter Eckland is coerced by his old friend, Australian Navy Comdr. Frank Houghton, into service as a coast-watcher on a South Pacific island. Under the code name "Mother Goose," the whiskey-loving Eckland is rewarded with a new bottle each time he spots an enemy movement. When he is ordered to rescue a spotter from another island, Eckland discovers that the man has been killed by Japanese strafers, and he finds seven stranded schoolgirls and their prim French mistress, Catherine Freneau. The two adults soon begin a contest of wills, with Catherine attempting to cure the unshaven Eckland of his drinking and use of salty language. The battle between the sexes remains a stalemate until the girls mistakenly tell Eckland that their mistress has been bitten by a poisonous snake; to ease her final hours, Eckland gets her drunk and admits that he used to be a history professor. The two discover they love each other, and they are married by radio during an air raid after it is revealed that the "snake" was actually a big stick. Houghton sends a submarine to rescue them, and a Japanese patrol boat threatens to sink it, but Eckland manages to destroy the vessel with his own launch, enabling his party of eight to be saved.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Adventure
War
Release Date
Jan 1964
Premiere Information
New York opening: 10 Dec 1964
Production Company
Granox Co.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures
Country
United States
Location
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Screenplay Information
Based on the short story "A Place of Dragons" by S. H. Barnett (publication undetermined).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.85 : 1

Award Wins

Best Writing, Screenplay

1965
Peter Stone

Best Writing, Screenplay

1965
Frank Tarloff

Award Nominations

Best Editing

1964
Ted J Kent

Best Sound

1964

Articles

Father Goose


Suave, dapper Cary Grant, who had wanted for some time to play against type, had considered taking on the role of the aging poker player in The Cincinnati Kid (1965) that was eventually played by Edward G. Robinson. Instead Grant settled on Universal's Father Goose (1964) for his change of image, playing what screenwriter Peter Stone described as "a drunk, disgusting, irascible, misanthropic character." Grant himself elaborated: "I was a bum. I was all broken down, in jeans and a beard. It was me. After dressing so carefully for my films for so many years, I wanted to do the opposite."

The film is set during World War II on a remote South Sea Island, where Grant's character is coerced into becoming a lookout for the Australian Navy and taking on a pretty teacher (Leslie Caron) and her seven young female charges. Stone, who rewrote a script by Frank Tarloff (from a story by S. H. Barnett called A Place of Dragons), did not meet his fellow writer until the 1965 Academy Awards, when the team won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. In his acceptance speech Stone said, "I want to thank Cary Grant, who keeps winning these things for other people." The movie also was nominated for Best Sound and Film Editing. Although ignored by Oscar, the film's theme song, "Pass Me By," with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, became a hit for Peggy Lee. Coleman has said that he based the song's tempo on Grant's jaunty walk.

Grant originally wanted Audrey Hepburn, his costar from Charade (1963), to play the comely schoolteacher. Caron, happy to be second choice, said of her costar: "Cary kept you on your toes. He electrified the set; You had to be as bright and brilliant as possible." Trevor Howard, playing a naval commander in the film, also was inspired by the star, even though the plot required that most of their communication be through radio. "Grant was always there on the set," Howard recalled. "If a line of comedy didn't work he'd immediately call up his writers to polish it up, and, consequently, I think I played some of my best comedy scenes in Father Goose."

Father Goose opened at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where it broke a box office record established by Grant's Charade.

Producer: Robert Arthur
Director: Ralph Nelson
Screenplay: Peter Stone, Frank Tarloff, from story by S.H. Barnett
Art Direction: Henry Bumstead, Alexander Golitzen
Cinematography: Charles B. Lang
Costume Design: Ray Aghayan
Editing: Ted Kent
Original Music: Cy Coleman
Principal Cast: Cary Grand (Walter Eckland), Leslie Caron (Catherine Freneau), Trevor Howard (Commander Frank Houghton), Jack Good (Lieutenant Stebbins), Sharyl Locke (Jenny), Dickie Moore (Joseph Meister).
C-117m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Roger Fristoe
Father Goose

Father Goose

Suave, dapper Cary Grant, who had wanted for some time to play against type, had considered taking on the role of the aging poker player in The Cincinnati Kid (1965) that was eventually played by Edward G. Robinson. Instead Grant settled on Universal's Father Goose (1964) for his change of image, playing what screenwriter Peter Stone described as "a drunk, disgusting, irascible, misanthropic character." Grant himself elaborated: "I was a bum. I was all broken down, in jeans and a beard. It was me. After dressing so carefully for my films for so many years, I wanted to do the opposite." The film is set during World War II on a remote South Sea Island, where Grant's character is coerced into becoming a lookout for the Australian Navy and taking on a pretty teacher (Leslie Caron) and her seven young female charges. Stone, who rewrote a script by Frank Tarloff (from a story by S. H. Barnett called A Place of Dragons), did not meet his fellow writer until the 1965 Academy Awards, when the team won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay. In his acceptance speech Stone said, "I want to thank Cary Grant, who keeps winning these things for other people." The movie also was nominated for Best Sound and Film Editing. Although ignored by Oscar, the film's theme song, "Pass Me By," with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, became a hit for Peggy Lee. Coleman has said that he based the song's tempo on Grant's jaunty walk. Grant originally wanted Audrey Hepburn, his costar from Charade (1963), to play the comely schoolteacher. Caron, happy to be second choice, said of her costar: "Cary kept you on your toes. He electrified the set; You had to be as bright and brilliant as possible." Trevor Howard, playing a naval commander in the film, also was inspired by the star, even though the plot required that most of their communication be through radio. "Grant was always there on the set," Howard recalled. "If a line of comedy didn't work he'd immediately call up his writers to polish it up, and, consequently, I think I played some of my best comedy scenes in Father Goose." Father Goose opened at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, where it broke a box office record established by Grant's Charade. Producer: Robert Arthur Director: Ralph Nelson Screenplay: Peter Stone, Frank Tarloff, from story by S.H. Barnett Art Direction: Henry Bumstead, Alexander Golitzen Cinematography: Charles B. Lang Costume Design: Ray Aghayan Editing: Ted Kent Original Music: Cy Coleman Principal Cast: Cary Grand (Walter Eckland), Leslie Caron (Catherine Freneau), Trevor Howard (Commander Frank Houghton), Jack Good (Lieutenant Stebbins), Sharyl Locke (Jenny), Dickie Moore (Joseph Meister). C-117m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

Look at their clothes.
- Catherine Freneau
They're my clothes.
- Walter Eckland
But they're filthy.
- Catherine Freneau
No, they're dirty, I'm filthy.
- Walter Eckland
So far you're shared me out of my clothes, my food and my house. Now, how about sharing some of my things with me.
- Walter Eckland
Do you have a boat?
- Catherine Freneau
No. I walked.
- Walter Eckland
Frank. Kiss my foot Frank.
- Walter Eckland
You stepped on my foot.
- Anne
Well, you put it under mine.
- Walter Eckland

Trivia

In later years, he always claimed his role in Father Goose was most like his real personality. He claimed he kept in touch with most of the girls as they grew up and had families of their own.

Cary Grant was offered the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady (1964) but turned it down to star in this movie. He wanted Audrey Hepburn to play Catherine, but she was already committed to "My Fair Lady".

Notes

Locations filmed in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States on Video November 9, 1988

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1964

Formerly distributed in USA on video by Republic Pictures.

Released in United States Winter January 1, 1964

Released in United States on Video November 9, 1988