Father Goose Movie Poster Image

Father Goose

(i)

 

Cary Grant charms in this WWII comedy.
  • Review Date: August 1, 2006
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Classic
  • Release Year: 1964
  • Running Time: 118 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Main characters slap each other. Japanese airplanes attack, the children are in danger, and there's a fire. Ms. Freneau is thought to be dead at one point.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Much of the plot and certainly the humor centers on Mr. Eckland's quest for whiskey and Ms. Freneau's persistence in hiding it from him. There is one scene in which she gets drunk (taking alcohol medicinally after getting a snake bite) and is later hung over.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the main character is on a constant search for the whiskey that his commanding officer and his prim island-mate hide from him. He's clearly not posited as a role model, though, and he reforms his ways. Even though this is foremost a comedy, it's set during World War II. The Japanese are the enemy, there's an air attack at the end, and at one point, the youngest little girl is in danger. Compared to war scenes in contemporary films, those in Father Goose are hardly worrisome.

What's the story?

At the height of World War II, Walter Eckland (Cary Grant), a free spirited and dissolute alcoholic, must be a look-out for Japanese war crafts on a deserted island on behalf of the Royal Navy. When he goes on a rescue mission to save a man on a nearby island, he finds himself responsible for the safety of uptight chaperone Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron) and the seven schoolgirls in her care. They had been dropped on the island during an emergency evacuation from her father's consulate in Rabat. Because it's too dangerous to arrange to airlift them off the island, they're stuck living with alcoholic slob Eckland for a month, maybe more. The battle of the sexes is mostly what the movie's about as Freneau tries to make a proper home for the girls and Eckland refuses to cooperate.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Grant is 60 years old, playing a drunk clad in khakis instead of his trademark tuxedo; he is, however, as charming a leading man as ever in this family comedy. It's easily one of his funniest pictures. With the added attraction of featuring seven children and being in Technicolor, it's certain to please viewers of all ages.

The children's individual personalities are entertaining, too. Tomboy Harriet prefers to be called Harry, loves to play cricket, and thinks everything is "smashing." The oldest, Elizabeth, gets a crush on Mr. Eckland, while the youngest, Jenny, refuses to open her mouth unless it's to bite him.There's a lot more family comedy than war in this movie, as its title suggests. Humorous situations mix with witty banter and a bit of slapstick to make this a classic.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it's like for the children to be away from their parents in a time of war. At first, Anne complains that she wants to go home, but by the end, she wants to stay -- why does she change her mind? What makes Jenny start talking again? Is Harriet accepted as a tomboy? What are the ways Ms. Freneau tries to create a "normal" environment on the island? Do you think it's good that she hides Mr. Eckland's whiskey even though it's his island? What does Mr. Eckland see as his responsibilities at the beginning of the film? How about by the end?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 10, 1964
DVD release date:September 18, 2001
Cast:Cary Grant, Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard
Director:Ralph Nelson
Studio:Artisan Entertainment
Genre:Classic
Run time:118 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

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Quality

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byD-Fresh March 30, 2011
One of my all time favorites. I cannot think of any legitimate complaints one could have concerning this movie.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byJoey123 January 22, 2009

Cute movie...

Great Cary Grant movie, a little long though. not a whole lot of language. However, it does have an s-word, a few d--n's,h-ll's,and b--ch. There is also a little bit of sexual innuendo, although most will go over younger kid's heads. Overall a great movie.
Teen, 15 years old Written bywho3697cares January 28, 2009
Funny and fun to watch.

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