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Film / George's Island

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George's Island is a Canadian family adventure film. It was shot in and around Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Ten-year-old George (Nathaniel Moreau) lives in a dilapidated home near the Halifax Harbour with his grandpa Captain Waters (Ian Bannen). Captain Waters is a wheelchair-bound former sailor. He is fond of telling George ghost stories. He volunteers an old story about the time he saw Captain Kidd's ghost out in Halifax Harbour. When George learns in school about Kidd's supposed buried treasure out on nearby George's Island, he volunteers the story, and is punished by meddlesome teacher Miss Birdwood (Sheila McCarthy). Miss Birdwood believes that the root of George's outburst is "trouble at home." She launches her own sneaky investigation to find out the truth. When she discovers that Captain Waters has a fondness for grog, she reports the family to Mr. Droonfield (Maury Chaykin) at Child Services. While Mr. Droonfield determines a course of action, George is temporarily placed with a foster family, the Beanes (portrayed by Brian Downey and Irene Hogan) who keep him locked up in a basement cell. On Halloween night, George and the Beanes' other adoptee, Bonnie (Vickie Ridler), escape with Captain Waters and head for safety on George's Island. Miss Birdwood and Mr. Droonfield give chase, but they accidentally awaken the ghosts of Captain Kidd (Gary Reineke) and his men, who think that the intruders are after their chest of gold.

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This film contains the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic:
    • Captain Waters. The whole town knew! Miss Birdwood finds out about it, and suggests George would be better off elsewhere.
    • The Jerkass Beanes fall into this category too as they make their own wine of all things!
  • Asshole Victim: The Beanes are ambushed by an army of ghost pirates following the climax, as per George's instruction via a Treasure Map he created to direct them to the Beane house, complete with their address. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Cassandra Truth: The way George tells the story of George's Island to the class. His teacher does not believe a word of it!
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Captain Waters could be an example of this given the Ghost Stories he tells.
    • George could also be viewed as this as he told the story of George's Island from his point of view. His teacher suspects there was trouble at home.
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  • Deadpan Snarker: Captain Waters. He is a former sailor, so what did you expect?
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Miss Birdwood could be an example following the film's climax, after she falls in love with and marries Mr. Droonfield, as well as believing George's story regarding the island and letting his grandfather have full custody of him.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: The Beanes did this to both Bonnie and George, when the former sneaked thru a secret passage to the latter's cell after light's out. They were denied breakfast the next morning as a result.
  • Department of Child Disservices: Thanks to Miss Birdwood, George is referred here. Headed by Obstructive Bureaucrat Mr. Droonfield.
  • Deus ex Machina:
    • Captain Waters arrives incognito in the midst of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night to rescue Bonnie and George from the clutches of the Beanes as well as Mr. Droonfield and Miss Birdwood.
    • When the aforementioned trio is escaping via sailboat to George's Island, they notice some "hooligans" drilled a hole in the boat, and doubt they will make it to the island in one piece. However they notice a Ghost Pirate off in the distance and he puts his fingers in the drilled holes, so the trio can safely arrive on the island.
  • Disappeared Dad: Both Bonnie and George's parents are never seen.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: George is viewed as this by his teacher when he tells the story of George's Island.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The Beanes could qualify as they take in foster kids, feed them...and treat them like crap!
  • Foster Kid:
    • George is made into one, thanks to his meddlesome Sadist Teacher Miss Birdwood thinking there was trouble at home
    • It is revealed approximately halfway thru the film that Bonnie is one under the care of the Beanes.
  • Ghost Pirate: Captain Kidd and his sidekicks...
  • Halloween Cosplay:
    • The Beanes get dressed up to attend some local Halloween party.
    • Bonnie and George are dressed in what appear to be ghost-like costumes which have their respective numbers spray-painted on them in black.
    • Captain Waters has the scariest one of all; a humungous, moving, disemodied eyeball that Bonnie and George climb aboard to make their escape from Mr. Droonfield, Miss Birdwood, and of course the god-awful Beanes!
  • Hate Sink: Roger and Beulah Beane, and how!
  • Hot for Teacher: Mr. Droonfield seems to have this for Miss Birdwood, as they are very inseparable throughout the film, especially during the climax.
  • Humble Pie: When the police arrive at the school and cart George away to the Beane residence where he is treated like a prisoner.
  • "It" Is Dehumanizing: The Beanes do not address their foster children by their given names, they simply refer to them as "1" and "2"
  • It Was a Dark and Stormy Night: Captain Water's ghost stories that he often tells. George begs his grandfather to tell him one, but he warns George of it being Harmful to Minors. He tells George anyway and he receives a nice genuine pirate hat.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Miss Birdwood would qualify as she starts out in the film as a Sadist Teacher, then she, along with Mr. Droonfield, become more compassionate toward the protagonists.
    • Heck, even Captain Waters would qualify despite his belligerent antics, he truly does care for George's well being.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Jerkass Beanes get their asses handed to them by Ghost Pirates popping up in their house!
  • Loners Are Freaks:
    • Captain Waters could come across as this he does not get out of the house much. The only time he does so is to protect George from the Department of Child Disservices. Other than that he just sits around and drinks and tells Ghost Stories.
    • Heck, even George could be perceived this way. He has virtually no friends, save for Bonnie.
  • Mad Scientist: The Beanes showed traits of this following the climax working down in their so-called laboratory creating their latest wine, or some other concoction. Hey, we already knew they had more than a few screws loose!
  • Meaningful Name: Miss Birdwood, as she classifies her students under various species of birds.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Miss Plivder, the hot secretary of Mr. Droonfield.
  • My Own Private "I Do": Miss Birdwood and Mr. Droonfield supposedly get married following the film's climax.
  • Papa Wolf: Captain Waters is this to George as he will let no one, not even a Sadist Teacher, Department of Child Disservices, or a stinkin' court order get in the way of him and his grandson!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • George's grandfather dishes one out to him as a result of asking why they do not live in a normal house. Subsequently, when George quoted his teacher to his grandfather. Captain Waters replied defensively that George was calling him a liar.
    • Following that, George added that the reason that his Missing Mom died was because his grandfather was so mean to her.
  • Running Gag:
    • While in the classroom, Miss Birdwood is seen spraying a disinfectant. She uses the Catchphrase "Germs away" and the pupils respond in unison "Every day"
    • Three teenage hooligans are always sneaking onto Capt. Water's property, and the capt yells at them in Angrish, then proceeds to take a shot at them either with a cannon or shotgun...loaded with salt, may I add. One of those teenagers was Shot in the Ass! In one scene, Miss Birdwood and Mr. Droonfield visit the Waters abode, and Capt. Waters orders George to grab the shotgun!
  • Sadist Teacher: Miss Birdwood qualifies for this trope early on in the movie as she is being very intrusive on George's behalf. She succeeds in having George placed in foster care as a form of punishment.
  • Schoolmarm: Miss Birdwood fits into this category complete with her physical appearance, strict approach, chalkboard and classroom; even though she teaches at a public elementary school.
  • Shout-Out: At the Halloween party, one of the attendees is supposedly dressed as Grover from Sesame Street.
  • Super Wheelchair: Though an invalid, Captain Waters is mighty proud of it considering how he used it for Halloween Cosplay!
  • Torture Cellar: The Beane's basement could be this, mainly as a wine cellar simultaneously doubling as a "prison cell" for their so-called foster children.
  • Treasure Map:
    • George is seen drawing one in the classroom
    • Also, he uses one while on the island during the climax.
  • Wine Is Classy:
    • The Beanes seem to think so, and they take a lot of pride in producing...their own! They even offer some to Mr. Droonfield.
    • Subverted with Captain Waters as all he drinks is "Grog"
  • Unsafe Haven:
    • The Beane house for one, as it is actually a Torture Cellar of sorts.
    • Also, the cabin where George and his grandfather reside could qualify.
  • Would Hurt a Child: OMG Mr. and Mrs. Beane! They treat the foster children they take in as if they are prisoners, locking them in cold basement cells!
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Happens to George when the police come to his school and cart him away to the Beane residence. George even asks if he can phone his grandfather.

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