Cactus Flower (1969)

GENE SAKS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5. 

USA, 1969.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Frankovich Productions.  Screenplay by , based on the stage play by , from the play Fleur de Cactus by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

 plays a successful dentist who lies to women and tells them he’s married with children in order to avoid complicated, serious relationships. His present girlfriend ( in her film debut) believes that his children are the reason he won’t divorce his wife to be with her, when really he just doesn’t want to commit. When he does finally decide to take the plunge and marry Hawn, she insists on meeting his ex-wife first in order to set things right; Matthau then enlists the help of his mild-mannered secretary () to play the part of the jilted spouse. This film shows its age frequently, and Bergman is slightly miscast (Lauren Bacall played the role on Broadway), but for the most part it is hilarious and witty. Hawn is especially delightful, deservedly sparking off a huge career of successful comedic performances.  Remade by Adam Sandler as Just Go With It.

Academy Award:  Best Supporting Actress (Goldie Hawn)

Golden Globe Award:  Best Supporting Actress (Goldie Hawn)
Nominations: Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Ingrid Bergman)

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