AND SO WITH ALL ITS BREAKOUT JOY, “CACTUS FLOWER” COMES FULL BLOOM TO THE SCREEN.
When dentist Julian Winston (Walter Matthau) finds out that his mistress (Goldie Hawn) tried to kill herself, he promises to marry her… but first he’ll have to take care of a fake divorce. One of the most popular films of that year is a Broadway adaptation helmed by a man who had worked closely with Neil Simon. Gene Saks was the right man for the job, but not even he can turn this overly complicated and unbelievable story into gold. Entertaining all the same, with Hawn (in her breakthrough) and Ingrid Bergman (as Matthau’s buttoned-up nurse) standouts among the cast.
1969-U.S. 103 min. Color. Directed by Gene Saks. Play: Pierre Barillet, Jean-Pierre Grédy, Abe Burrows. Music: Quincy Jones. Song: “The Time for Love is Any Time” (Quincy Jones, Cynthia Weil). Cast: Walter Matthau (Julian Winston), Ingrid Bergman (Stephanie Dickinson), Goldie Hawn (Toni Simmons), Jack Weston, Rick Lenz, Vito Scotti.
Trivia: Tuesday Weld was allegedly considered for a part. Remade in India in 2005 and as Just Go With It (2011).
Oscar: Best Supporting Actress (Hawn). Golden Globe: Best Supporting Actress (Hawn).
Quote: “I’m having a rough time. As long as I was lying to her, everything was fine. The minute I decided to do the right thing and marry her, I’ve had troubles. You wouldn’t believe the complications. It’s like waltzing in wet cement.” (Matthau)