Father Goose (film)

1964 film by Ralph Nelson

Father Goose is a 1964 film about a man who is persuaded to live on an isolated island and spot aircraft during World War II finds himself responsible for a teacher and several students, all female.

Directed by Ralph Nelson. Written by S.H. Barnett, Peter Stone, and Frank Tarloff.

Walter Eckland

  • Let me tell you something. I am not a father figure. I am not an uncle figure, or a brother or a cousin figure. In fact, the only figure I intend being is a total stranger figure.
  • Maybe if you stopped straightening pictures and let men wear their own pants, maybe they'd be able to touch you without asking "permesso!"
  • [Catherine is about to read a list of needs to Frank] Now hold it. You've taken over everything else, but the radio is still my responsibility. [reads from the list] 8 nighties...[gives the list to Catherine and leaves]
  • Well so far, you're "shared" me out of my home, my bed, my food and my shirt. Now, how about sharing some of my things with me?


Walter: [about the Coast Watching Service] Well now Frank, we've been friends for a long time. Do you really think you can talk me into it?
Houghton: No, I suppose not. Stebbings, confiscate all the small craft on this pier.
Stebbings: But this is the only one there is, sir.
Houghton: Confiscate it.
Walter: Frank, you won't get away with that!
Houghton: Proceed with your orders, Stebbings.
Stebbings: Aye, aye, sir.
Walter: Frank, you can't do this to me! I'll go over your head! Who's in charge here?
Stebbings: He is.
Walter: Frank, you can't do this to me; that boat's all I have!
Houghton: You said we've been friends for a long time, Walter. Do you really think you can talk me out of it?

Walter: All those miles of open sea; a man would need something to keep warm, wouldn't he?
Houghton: 2 bottles.
Walter: All of them, Frank.
Houghton: Three.
Walter: All of them, Frank.
Houghton: Five.
Walter: All of them, Frank.
Houghton: [Resignedly] Got a pencil?

Catherine: Do you have a boat?
Walter: No. I walked.

Catherine: [Eckland has sucked the "poison" from Catherine's "snakebite"; she is a little drunk from the whiskey] Tell me, I would like to know - what did my blood taste like, hmm?
Walter: Delicious. Now, come one.
Catherine: No, no, no, I'm serious. What did it taste like?
Walter: Well how would I know? I'm not a vampire,
Catherine: Um, was it salty?
Walter: Mmm, a little salty, yes.
Catherine: Too salty?
Walter: No, it was just right.
Catherine: Oh, no! You thought it was too salty, I can tell! You didn't like it! [she seems on the verge of crying]
Walter: I liked it!
Catherine: Oh, really?
Walter: Uh-huh, I liked it!
Catherine: You're not just saying that?
Walter: Great blood!

Catherine: Look at their clothes.
Walter: They're my clothes.
Catherine: But they're filthy.
Walter: No, they're dirty, I'm filthy.

Walter: [teaching Catherine to fish bare-handed; in a hushed voice] Hey, here she comes again.
Catherine: How do you know it's a "she"?
Walter: Her mouth is open, now be quiet.

Stebbings: Spoke to Oliver, sir; Mother Goose is requesting a chaplain!
Houghton: A chaplain? Good heavens, he's killed her!
Stebbings: No sir, they want to get married!

Stebbings: [About the Coastwatchers] It's a chance to become a hero!
Walter: Why would I want to do that?

Walter: Well see I thought they'd be more interested in what was in a man’s head, not around his neck. Then I noticed they all wore ties. They all looked alike. They all talked alike. They all behaved alike. They were all going the same way. No matter which way they said they were going. So what was the use of teaching them history, or anything. They weren’t learning by it. They were still creating the same world problems. So I packed, got on a boat, and got away from them.


  • Cary Grant - Walter Christopher Eckland (Mother Goose)
  • Leslie Caron - Catherine Freneau (Goody Two Shoes)
  • Trevor Howard - Commander Frank Houghton (Big Bad Wolf)
  • Jack Good - Lieutenant Stebbings (Bo Peep)
  • Sharyl Locke - Jenny
  • Pip Sparke - Anne
  • Verina Greenlaw - Christine
  • Stephanie Berrington - Elizabeth Anderson
  • Jennifer Berrington - Harriet MacGregor
  • Laurelle Felsette - Angelique
  • Nicole Felsette - Dominique
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