Deliberately casting his established screen image to the four winds, Cary Grant plays Walter Eckland, an unkempt, uncouth and unshaven beach bum in Father Goose. During World War II, Walter keeps busy relaying radio reports of Japanese air activity. But he's no hero, and in fact volunteered for this mission only because he's been promised a shipment of liquor by Australian naval officer Frank Houghton (Trevor Howard). Making matters worse for the misanthropic Eckland is the arrival of French schoolmistress Catherine Freneau (Leslie Caron) and her seven little-girl charges, whose plane has crashed nearby. The animosity between Walter and Catherine erupts into a slapping contest, with Walter dishing it out as well as taking it. Only when Catherine is bitten by a deadly snake does Walter express his affections for her.