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Cactus Flower
Cactus Flower
Actors: Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, Goldie Hawn, Jack Weston, Rick Lenz
Director: Gene Saks
Genres: Comedy
PG     2002     1hr 43min

Walter Matthau stars as Julian Winston, an easy-going bachelor dentist whose delicately balanced scheme crumbles under some unexpected circumstances. Winston is stringing along his dizzy blonde mistress, Toni (Goldie Hawn)...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman, Goldie Hawn, Jack Weston, Rick Lenz
Director: Gene Saks
Genres: Comedy
Sub-Genres: Classic Comedies, Goldie Hawn, Walter Matthau
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/23/2002
Original Release Date: 12/16/1969
Theatrical Release Date: 12/16/1969
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 43min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 28
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French
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Movie Reviews

What?!...Ingrid Bergman, Walter Matthau, and Goldie Hawn?!
Anthony Paul | 01/28/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Being an avid movie and music fan, I'm always happy to find hidden gems in either artform that can take me by surprise. I will also say that on most occasions I usually tend to agree with the critics in their attitudes and assertions. However, this was not such a case. When I recently stumbled upon this movie, I had never heard of it; the cast immediately intrigued me, especially Ingrid Bergman (in a 60's comedy?!) I did a little research and was dissappointed to see that most of the reviews of this film were either lukewarm or negative, with most of the complaints being made about the "miscasting of Ingrid Bergman". Interesting enough, Goldie Hawn managed to win an Academy Award for her role...(was 1969 that bad a year for actresses?).Anyway, I wasn't expecting much when I finally watched it, especially after reading Leonard Maltin's review. However, I quickly found myself thouroughly enjoying the scenarios unfolding. Lighthearted, yes...but very fun. It is very much in line with the Neil Simon plays/film of the era, having also been derived from a Broadway play. I have to say that good old Leonard is wrong on this one, as are many other critcs. The most astonishing error is the claim that Ingrid Bergman was miscast and has no comedic timing. She was a riot to watch in a role like this; I'll say the best moments in the film are hers. To my eyes, Bergman appears to be having a blast with this role and it is quite apparent. At this point in her career, her mid 50's, it is wholly enjoyable to see the still beautiful Bergman having some lighthearted, carefree fun.
I am surprised that the Academy chose to honor Goldie Hawn for her performance. I found her to be a tad too cooky, even for a '60's go-go girl. Walter Matthau, however, plays the role of a sneaky dentist quite well and is fully enjoyable.
Apart from the actors' performances, I did also enjoy the look and feel of the film. While many films from the 60's and 70's appear, to me, to be hopelessly dated in both of these aspects, I found that the "1969" in this film looked great. It was actually very appealing...oranges,browns, flowers, and miniskirts,
All in all, a very satisfying, simple little romp. Look folks, I'm not saying this is a masterpiece by any stretch, but I definately found this worthy seeing. The DVD has no extras to speak of...just a trailer of the film, as well as trailers for two other completely unrelated film (?) However, the transfer of the film to DVD is surprisingly satisfying...colors are rich and vibrant, with minimal artifacts, film dirt/damage. Also, and thankfully, the Widescreen is anamorphic. Of course, there is the obligatory inclusion of the Standard (aka butchered)Version on the flipside of the disk, for those who haven't made the transition to the CORRECT way that is widescreen. ( maybe that was a little unnecessary)
So if you've possibly not seen or heard of this film and are interested, don't listen to the critics on this one. Give it a try, it's a good time."
Leanord Maltin is Wrong
James P. Hunt | Oklahoma City, OK USA | 01/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This comedy is not thin. It has absolutely no sag, a good and actually believable storyline, likable and believable characters, great acting, and it's very funny. This is what they mean when they say they don't make comedies like this anymore. Written at a time when Hollywood did not presume that the audience only needed a display of bodily fluids and lame story lines to be satisfied.The film demonstrates another point: the great comedic actors don't try to be funny. They just act. I don't know if Walter Mathau ever won an Oscar, but if he didn't he would be, like Cary Grant, one of the greatest actors never to have done so. He was not only a great comedy actor ("Cactus Flower", "Odd Couple" and "A New Leaf"), but could quite convincingly play a thug ("Strangers When We Meet") and a tough, no-nonsense cop ("The Laughing Policeman"). In this film, he's brilliant as always. With all respect to the new 20 million dollar a film generation, could Adam Sandler play the role of Julian Winston without simply playing, oh, Adam Sandler? Ingrid Bergman is incredible. And by that, I mean incredibly sexy. You have no difficulty whatsoever seeing why Walter Mathau eventually picks her over a 21 year old Goldie Hawn. And you fully understand why the much younger man nuzzles her neck while dancing with her. While watching the film, I kept reminding myself that it had been made 25 years after "Casablanca" and yet there she was, still looking smashing. So yeah, it's "dated". Were that more contemporary Hollywood comedies, maybe even one, were so dated."
If you like good ol' Classic films, you'll love this one
Laura Roop | Newburgh, IN USA | 02/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Classic Walter Matthau film. I enjoyed it very much because of the easy & believeable relationship between Matthau & Hawn, the suppressed attraction between Bergman & Matthau & the sweet storyline. This film was made during a time where special effects didn't fill in for weak plots; instead the story actually makes its point. Well done.

As bachelor dentist Dr. Julian Winston, Matthau tries to convince his mistress, Toni, (Goldie Hawn) that he has a wife who won't divorce him because they have children. Toni's had enough: she fires off a letter (yes, actually walks across the street in her nightgown to deposit the letter in a mailbox)to Julian, telling him she's committed suicide. Her young writer-neighbor, Igor (Rick Lenz), smells gas in the apartment hallway, breaks in & saves Toni.

When Julian receives the letter at his office, he storms off to Toni's apartment, only to find her alive & in the company of Igor. This little stunt persuades Julian to ask Toni to marry him -- he'll get a divorce no matter what. The catch is now Toni wants to meet Julian's wife, she has to get to know her so that Julian's wife won't think of Toni as a home-wrecker. Enter Ingrid Bergman as Miss Stephanie Dickinson, Dr. Winston's long-suffering, never-married dental assistant. Julian convinces Stephanie to pose as his wife for Toni.

What ensues is a calamity of coincidences & misunderstandings that cause true feelings to be revealed. Ingrid Bergman is such a joy to watch, she effortlessly steals the show.

If you want light-hearted entertainment that will leave you with a smile on your face, this film is for you."
Adorable 60's comedy...
Emily Threlkeld | Houston, TX | 04/16/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a really sweet little film that is completely and thoroughly 60's. It stars Walter Matthau as a dentist who is dating Goldie Hawn, a young free spirit. He's told her that he's married so he won't have to marry her, but, when he decides he wants to marry her after all, he has to produce a wife. He turns to his faithful nurse, played by Ingrid Bergman (!), who has worked for him for ten years. Hawn's character feels pity for Bergman, and events escalate to the point that the dentist is using one of his patients to play the role of his "wife's" lover.

There's some really witty dialogue in here, and Goldie Hawn, in her first movie role, is irrepressibly adorable. Ingrid Bergman also gives a fabulous performance, once you get over the shock of seeing her in something that isn't Casablanca, looking almost matronly. (But, at age fifty-four, still beautiful.) Walter Matthau also gives a great performance as the sneaky but loveable dentist, and there are a couple of scenes in a dance club that are too great for words."