At an age when most actors had long since stopped taking
roles (or more likely, the phone had stopped ringing) Cary Grant was
still making superb
films. After making the excellent
thriller Charade, Grant went to work
on the WWII light comedy, Father Goose,
his second to last movie. It was won the
Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and thanks to Olive Films, this fun
has made its way to Blu-ray.
Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) is a cantankerous old man who
has dropped out of society and has been living, and drinking, in the
Pacific for years. He has a boat that he
charters so that he can have some money for booze, but basically he
what he wantsâ€¦ until Japan
starts expanding across the Pacific.
Make no mistake, Walter is not interesting in the problems
between countries, he just wants to be left alone.
But when an old buddy of his now with the
British Navy, Houghton (wonderfully portrayed by Trevor Howard) tricks
an island and then torpedoes his boat, Walter is stuck.
The island has a hut and a radio, and
Houghton makes a deal with Eckland:
Walter is going to be a plane spotter, reporting any Japanese
he sees flying over the island, and when the report is confirmed
reveal the location of a bottle of booze, hidden on the island. It's not an ideal arrangement, but it works
more or less.
Things get more difficult for Walter when he's informed that
the Japanese have captured a nearby island, and that a teacher named
(Leslie Caron) students, all young girls, are still trapped there. Walter makes the treacherous journey in his
dingy and rescues the group, but it's much too dangerous to send a ship
them up at the present time. So Walter,
a man who dislikes society, ends up sharing his small hut with a prim
proper school teacher and a gaggle of young girls.
It's pretty amazing watching Cary Grant in this role.
He's unshaven and disheveled the entire time,
but he still has an air of sophistication and a spark of spring in his
that makes the movie incredibly fun.
Grant is an incredibly versatile actor, and in this film he
curmudgeonly old drunk and makes him appear charming.
When a romance starts to blossom between
Walter and Catherine it actually seems natural even with the difference
because of the way Grant plays his character.
Leslie Caron does a good job as the prim teacher too, but
the best supporting actor is Trevor Howard who has a great time playing
comedy. He brings a warmth and
to the role that really makes the film.
The 1.78:1 1080p image is very nice for an unrestored film
that's nearly 50 years old. The colors
are generally strong and the detail is excellent. It's
not perfect, there are a few white
specks here and there, but overall the disc looks very good.
The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack (in mono) is very
pleasing. The dialog is clean and clear
and there isn't any background noise. It
sounds very good for a movie from this era.
Unfortunately, there are no bonus features.
A wonderful comedy that looks great on Blu-ray, this
penultimate Cary Grant film is one fans should seek out.