Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What's In A Nickname Anyway?

Many months ago in an earlier post I said something to the affect that some day I would explain how my wife and I got our nicknames. I put it off for quite sometime, mostly because the explanation isn't a short one....well, the short version is that we took them from a movie we both like. But there's way more to it than that. And I simply didn't feel like writing about it. Now, after months of procrastination, I feel ready. So, here goes.

In the movie, Father Goose, which is set in the pacific during early 1941, Cary Grant plays Walter Eckland, a recluse pressed into service as a coast watcher. Needless to say he is not happy at the hand he has been dealt by his old friend and new boss, Commander Frank Houghton of the Royal Australian Navy, played by Trevor Howard. After Walter protests his plight to Houghton over the radio, Houghton comes back with...'Walter, I have a dozen other men in similar situations. Why is it that I spend most of my time talking to you?'

If things aren't bad enough for Walter, he goes to a neighboring island to rescue another coast watcher, who will replace him and he can go on his merry way. Instead, he ends up rescueing a woman by the name of Catherine Freneau, played by Leslie Caron. Catherine is in charge of seven young school girls, who are hiding from the Japanese. Walter takes them back to his island where they take over his hut, steal his clothes, hide his whiskey, and make his life even more miserable than it was before. You can figure out for yourself where this movie is going...or can you?

Needless to say, the two do not get along and both protest to Commander Houghton via the radio. I actually feel sorry for Houghton as he is forced to referee the antics of Walter and Catherine.

Walter: Now listen Frank, you tell Ms. Goody Two Shoes to stay out out of my business, you tell her that she's a pain in the...

Houghton: ...Uh, Walter, be civil.

Walter: Civil! Who stole who's liquor? Who threw who out of who's home? Who bit who's finger?

Houghton: She bit you?

Walter: Yes.

Houghton: Ms. Freneau?

Walter: No. (One of the girls did) Now you tell her Frank, you tell her to butt out.

Houghton: All right, Walter, I'll speak to her. (Walter hands the microphone to Catherine.)

Catherine: Yes, Commander.

Houghton : Ms. Freneau, by now you may have noticed that Mr. Eckland isn't exactly the most sociable sportsman...

Catherine: ...Mr. Eckland is a rude, drunken, foul mouthed, Filthy Beast.

Houghton: Be that as it may Ms. Freneau...

In the end, the two combatants actually find that they have feelings for one another. Hey, you knew it would come to that. A blind man could see it. But then again that's the magic of Hollywood.

By now, I should point out that Father Goose is one of our favorite movies of all time. It never grows old and the constant bantering back and forth between Walter-Catherine-Houghton is priceless. And the final exchange is an all time classic.

Lt. Stebbings: Sir, it’s Matalava. Father Goose is requesting a chaplain.

Houghton: A Chaplain? Good heaven’s, he’s killed her.

Stebbings: No, sir; they want to get married.

Houghton: Married! Goody Two Shoes and the Filthy Beast?

Over the years we sort of started calling each other by those names, and I should point out that it's all done in good humor...well, mostly. Neither of us are quite as outlandish as Grant and Caron, but we do have our moments.

1 comment:

Suzy said...

I love the old movies too,but I don't remember this one...I'll have to rent it and give it a look see!
I've always found it interesting where nicknames come from!

PS. What kind of camera do you use? I'm in the market for a new one, and the more I look the more confused I get!!