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Cactus Flower

86 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Cactus Flower is a delightful comedy sparked by crazy, mixed-up situations and the kooky, Academy Award®-winning film debut of Goldie Hawn (Best Actress in a Supporting Role, 1969). Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple, 1968) also stars as Julian Winston, an easygoing bachelor dentist whose delicately balanced scheme to get married crumbles under some unexpected circumstances. Winston is stringing along his dizzy blonde mistress, Toni (Hawn), by telling her that he has a wife and children. But when he learns that she has tried to commit suicide over him, he promises to marry her. Toni, refusing to be a home wrecker, insists on first meeting Winston's wife, so he convinces Stephanie (Ingrid Bergman) - his starched and no-nonsense nurse - to pose as his wife. Winston's scheme leads to unforeseen twists and surprises for everyone.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Irene Hervey, Walter Matthau, Jack Weston, Goldie Hawn
  • Directors: Gene Saks
  • Producers: M.J. Frankovich
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 1, 2002
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000633R9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,191 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cactus Flower" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Paul on January 28, 2004
Format: DVD
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.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By James P. Hunt on January 2, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Laura Roop on February 6, 2006
Format: DVD
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.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As other reviewers have said, Leonard Maltin is absolutely wrong about this film. The comedy is very tight and well timed. The dialogue is the wittiest of any movie I've seen from the era. It does tend a little toward one-liners, but it doesn't matter because it's fall-out-of-your-seat funny. Ingrid Bergman is divine in a role you would never have expected for her. The signs of the times are ubiquitous -- references to "the Pill," "hippies," "squares," etc., but the comedy is far from dated. The best aspect of the film is its unconventional plot. Romantic comedies are highly predictable as a class -- this one keeps you guessing. Puts even Neil Simon to shame. Highest recommendation.
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