Goldie, Meg and Matthau, Michelle and Ingrid Bergman too: From Cactus Flower to a Pfantasy Pfeiffer Pfilm

A kaleidoscopic update of The Apartment, Cactus Flower feels like a film born out of my dreams: I mean Ingrid Bergman, Walter Matthau and Goldie Hawn in  a screwball comedy? Walter and Goldie as a couple? Ingrid as a spinster, bearing an unrequited love for Matthau? It really shouldn’t work . . . but it does.I do often think of Meg Ryan when I watch this one. As the heir to Goldie Hawn’s comedy crown she herself was no stranger to Walter Matthau. They co-starred in I.Q. in 1994 and again in Hanging Up, which turned out to be Walter’s final film.A Cactus Flower remake could have been the perfect vehicle for Ryan in her heyday. She’d have rocked the role of a Greenwich Village kook, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer, as a more serious type in the mould of One Fine Day‘s Melanie.Michelle would have brought the dry-humored poise, Ryan the ditzy energy; together they could have out one-lined and out-shticked each other to a standstill. As for Walter Matthau I’m not sure who could have filled his shoes. He only had to appear on screen with a vacant look on his face to be funny.Leaving fantasy casting aside, no remake was necessary here, I’d suggest you just go with the original. If only for the surreal sight of Goldie Hawn and Ingrid Bergman dancing side by side in a swinging 60’s disco. Only Meg and Michelle, letting their hair down for a 90’s dance floor duet could have possibly compared.

This post is part of  Nuwan Sen’s October Birthdayz Blogathon  



Filed under Blogathon, Fantasy Film

10 responses to “Goldie, Meg and Matthau, Michelle and Ingrid Bergman too: From Cactus Flower to a Pfantasy Pfeiffer Pfilm

  1. Thank you very much!! I really enjoyed it. Totally agree, Meg Ryan could have rocked the role. And Pfeiffer would have done Bergman justice.
    This is among my favourite films ever, what a brilliant comedy.
    Thanks again
    P. S. Can you please mention the post is part of a Blogathon hosted by me, with a link to my introductory Blogpost. Love the banner you chose, it’s Catherine Deneuve’s 75th Birthday today.
    Nuwan 🙂

    • You’re welcome, I’m just glad you enjoyed the post. Cactus Flower is brilliant but I think Pfeiffer and Ryan could have put their own stamp on it. I’ve added a link now and given your blogathon credit. I didn’t do that previously because I wanted your OK that the post was suitable.
      Thanks again for allowing me to be involved.

  2. Pingback: The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon (Day 3) | No Nonsense with Nuwan Sen

  3. Great post 🙂 I think Meg Ryan would have been great in the Goldie Hawn role in Cactus Flower and speaking of Walter Matthau, I read somewhere that Billy Wilder originally wanted him to play the male lead in The Seven Year Itch, but it is rumored that 20th Century Fox wanted Tom Ewell from the original play to reprise his role. I can’t confirm this with 100 percent authenticity, but since you were talking about a film with Matthau, it felt perfect for this reply. Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment John. You’re right, after considering Gary Cooper and William Holden, apparently Wilder did want Matthau to play the lead in The Seven Year Itch. Playwright George Axelrod agreed with the Matthau choice, 20th Century Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck did not. James Stewart was also interested but his schedule was already full.
      Strangely I can’t imagine Pfeiffer or Ryan filling Marilyn’s iconic white dress, some things are better left in the past.

  4. I’m almost ashamed for not knowing or even hearing of the Cactus Flower and I’m such a Goldie Hawn fan. It’s great to follow you, Paul. I can always discover these hidden/or not so hidden little gems to watch! Great review.

  5. This is a film I need to see soon. I mean, look at this cast!

    I agree that Walter Matthau is funny even (especially?) when he has a blank look on his face. He was one of the greats, in my opinion.

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