Nearing the end of a very long career playing debonair, impeccably-dress gentleman, Cary Grant must have relished his role in Father Goose, in which he plays as a drunk, slightly crude, slob who doesn’t own a necktie and doesn’t have a care in the world. Indeed, the actor said in interviews that this was the closest to his personality of all the roles of his long career.
Grant plays Walter Eckland, an American who has been drifting aimlessly around the South Pacific, when an old friend (Trevor Howard), who is now a commander in the Royal British Navy, convinces him to work as a coast spotter, living on an isolated island while keeping a look out for Japanese fighter planes. When Eckland is sent to a neighboring island to pick up another spotter, he finds that the man has died in an attack on the island, and in his place he finds a number of young European girls and their very prim and proper French teacher (Leslie Caron). Plot-wise, the rest of the film is pretty predictable and echoes The African Queen (1951), but Grant and Caron have good on-screen chemistry, which makes this entertaining enough.