the year: 1961
the genre: drama
the cast: Cary Grant (Walter Christopher Eckland); Leslie Caron (Catherine Louise Marie Ernestine Freneau); Trevor Howard (Commander Frank Houghton); Jack Good (Lieutenant Stebbings)
the plot: It's WWII, and unkempt, scruffy American ex-patriate, Walter Eckland, is running from civilization. He finds himself recruited into the coast watcher service against his will by Commander Frank Houghton of the Royal Australian Navy with promises of whisky as a bribe. Making matters worse for the misanthropic Eckland is the arrival of French schoolmistress Catherine Freneau and her seven little-girl charges whom he has to rescue from the Japanese.
count: the number of nursery rhyme characters named throughout the course of the movie.
don’t miss: the snakebite segment.
check out: the name of Walter's boat, which he bought from Mr. Van De Hoven. It is "Vrolijkheid", which is Dutch for "Cheerfulness". Ironic, no?
listen for: “Let me tell you I am not a father figure. I am not a brother figure or an uncle figure or a cousin figure. In fact, the only figure I intend being is a total stranger figure.”
also listen for: “If you're waiting for the big finale, I'm sorry this is all I do.”
did you know: Cary Grant always claimed his role in this film was most like his real personality.
extra bonus points: if you can name the actress Cary Grant wanted to play the part of Catherine Freneau. She was already committed to act in another film – a role in which she was nominated for an Academy Award for best actress. (Hint: they co-starred in a movie the year before.)