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Father Goose (1964) - Blu-ray Review

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Father Goose (1964) - Blu-ray Review

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4 stars

Pop-pops everywhere, celebrate!

Olive Films continues their archival campaign to bring long-forgotten into the HD realm with Cary Grant’s Father Goose.   It is a true classic of the romantic comedy genre and, released in December of 1964, went on to earn two Academy Award nominations, winning Best Story and Screenplay.  While it is set during WWII, Father Goose is not exactly a war film; it’s a brilliant battle of the sexes.

The film, directed by Ralph Nelson, features Grant in one of his funniest roles as a boozy beachcomber sitting on the sidelines while the fighting in and around the South Pacific carries on and features great performances from Leslie Caron, Trevor Howard, and Jack Good.  Conned into a sort of lookout post watching enemy planes on a South Isle by Commander Houghton (Trevor Howard), Walter Eckland (Cary Grant) mistakenly answers a distress call and discovers a beautiful French schoolmarm, Catherine Freneau (Caron), and her seven students without protection.

He refuses.  She insists.  And so it begins.  They need a home and his lookout post will have to do.  Of course, his boozing will have to go.  Tensions rise as space is claimed and bad habits are broken or reinforced.  And so begins a hilarious battle of the sexes between a messy American, a prim Mademoiselle, and seven mischievous little girls.

The script is tight with new plot elements and character development all the way through.  The dialogue crackles with wit and great lines of dialogue as the battle between a boozer and a maiden takes off.  Every step of the way, the script – penned by Peter Stone (Charade) and Frank Tarloff – develops rich characters that earn our sympathies in this relaxed comedy.  Even the stubborn and sneaky Houghton gets under our skin with his conniving wit and comradeship as he attempts to keep Eckland involved in the war…and his new family.

Grant would retire two years after completing Father Goose but his role here might be him at his most brave.  He sheds his established and reinforced image to play this broke down drunk and embraces it.  This is him against typecast and, for once, embracing his age … even if Caron is half his own.  He bumbles, he boozes; he has enough heart to do the right thing time and time again.  He’s at once sloppy and charming; a true professional and it shows here in this opposites- attract formula.

Arriving just in time to celebrate Father’s Day, pick up your copy of this immensely amusing comedy to enjoy with the family.  Yes, Virginia, Pop-pop gets a treat.

{2jtab: Film Details}

Father Goose (1964) - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: This film has not been rated by the MPAA.
Runtime:
118 mins.
Director
: Ralph Nelson
Writer
: Peter Stone, Frank Tarloff
Cast:
Cary Grant, Leslie Caron; Trevor Howard; Jack Good; Pip Sparke
Genre: Comedy | Romance | War
Tagline:
Father Goose
Memorable Movie Quote: "Frank. Kiss my foot Frank."
Distributor:
Olive Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
December 10, 1964
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 28, 2013

Synopsis: During WW2, a man persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

{2jtab: Blu-ray Review}

Father Goose (1964) - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Movie

Blu-ray Disc
4 stars

2 stars



Blu-ray Experience
3 stars

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - May 28, 2013
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

Father Goose is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1.  White specs and other damages are visible but definitely not to the level some might expect.  It’s probably not as sharp as the print should be, neither is it as bright as one might expect.  Colors are definitely muted on this puppy.  We should just be happy to have it in high definition, folks.  The film is in remarkably good condition considering its age and the hazards the print has probably seen.  Fine detail is good.  As with virtually all Olive releases, there doesn't appear to have been any digital tweaking of any kind to the source elements.  The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio Mono mix that accompanies the transfer is surprisingly solid.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Just be happy it’s available on Blu-Ray.

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