Cactus in the Snow


1h 30m 1972

Film Details

Also Known As
You Can't Have Everything
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Release Date
Mar 1972
Premiere Information
London opening: late Feb 1971; Houston, TX opening: last week of Dec 1971
Production Company
Koala Productions
Distribution Company
Cinema National Corp.; General Film Corporation
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Los Angeles--Griffith Park, California, United States; Santa Monica, California, United States; Santa Monica--Pier, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Synopsis

His basic training completed, eighteen-year-old Army private Harley MacIntosh vows to use his last weekend pass to lose his virginity before shipping out to Vietnam. While hitchhiking near his post, Harley is picked up by Cal Beamish, a seemingly sympathetic stranger who offers to help him find a girl. Instead, Cal plies Harley with beer, drives him to a secluded area and attempts to seduce him. Though drunk, Harley jumps out of Cal's car and ends up at the Groove Box, a teenage nightspot near the beach. There, Harley approaches three young women┬┐Cissy Harris, Rhoda and Delores┬┐and after admitting he is a virgin, asks to have sex with one of them. Impressed by his honesty, Cissy, whose parents are out of town, volunteers to take Harley to her suburban home. Once there, however, Cissy, who does not want to know Harley's name and calls him by his rank, "E-2," insists they chat before heading upstairs to her bedroom. After the still drunk Harley reveals he is an orphan and grew up in foster homes, Cissy sends him upstairs, while she retreats to the bathroom to take a birth control pill. In his eagerness, Harley tries to remove his pants on the steps and tumbles down the stairs. Though unhurt, Harley is helped to the living room couch by Cissy and promptly falls asleep. The next morning, Cissy informs Harley that she has made a list of activities for them to do over the next two days, the last of which is sex. After cooking his breakfast, Cissy drives Harley to town, where at Harley's request, she has her long hair cut short. She then rides with Harley on the local merry-go-round, which is operated by Mr. Murray, her mentally challenged, stuttering friend. While Cissy waits for him at a screening of a Greta Garbo movie, Harley slips into a drugstore and tries unsuccessfully to buy some condoms. At the movie theater, Harley becomes physically ill during a graphic newsreel about the Vietnam War. Although Harley later insists he is fine, Cissy suggests they skip the movie and drive to the beach. There, after they dine on fast food burgers, a nervous Cissy asks Harley if he truly wants to lose his virginity. When Harley replies with an emphatic "yes," Cissy finally admits that she, too, is a virgin. Insisting that two virgins having sex together is "dirty," Harley refuses to go through with the last part of Cissy's plan. Cissy, however, is determined that Harley fulfill his mission and takes him back to the Groove Box to find a willing girl. Cissy attempts to fix Harley up with Rhoda, but George, Rhoda's date who once tried to seduce Cissy, becomes jealous of Harley and beats him up in the parking lot. Now thoroughly discouraged, Harley prepares to return to his post, but Cissy drags him back to the merry-go-round. While snuggled together on the carousel, the teenagers have a serious discussion about duty and romance, then fall asleep. Early the next morning, the pair stumble back to Cissy's house and collapse on her parents' bed. Their slumber is soon interrupted when Mr. and Mrs. Harris return home early and find them in bed together. Although the teens are fully clothed, Mr. Harris is furious and orders Harley to leave. Embarrassed by her parents' reaction, Cissy storms out of her house and reunites with Harley. After Harley declares that he had one foster mother, Mrs. Sawyer, to whom he felt close, Cissy convinces him to pay Mrs. Sawyer an impromptu visit. Cissy and Harley take the bus to the seaside town where Mrs. Sawyer lives and find her fishing on the pier. Although pleasant, Mrs. Sawyer barely remembers Harley and talks only about how much money she received to care for him. Sensing Harley's growing sadness, Cissy once again offers to have sex with him, but he declines, saying he likes her too much to take her virginity. Still determined, Cissy finds a sympathetic prostitute to have sex with Harley for twelve dollars, their combined cash. When Harley exits the prostitute's house, however, he tells Cissy he could not go through with the act. That evening at the bus station, Harley says a wisftul goodbye to Cissy and makes a half-hearted promise to write to her. After he boards the bus, Cissy finally asks him his name but cannot make out his reply over the roar of the departing bus. Months later, at the merry-go-round, Cissy tells Mr. Murray that she will not be returning there as she has grown too old for carousels. She then reveals that the soldier she once brought to the merry-go-round, who named her beneficiary in his will, died in Vietnam.

Film Details

Also Known As
You Can't Have Everything
MPAA Rating
Genre
Drama
Release Date
Mar 1972
Premiere Information
London opening: late Feb 1971; Houston, TX opening: last week of Dec 1971
Production Company
Koala Productions
Distribution Company
Cinema National Corp.; General Film Corporation
Country
Great Britain and United States
Location
Los Angeles--Griffith Park, California, United States; Santa Monica, California, United States; Santa Monica--Pier, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 30m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although onscreen credits include a 1970 copyright statement, the film was not registered for copyright. The name of the onscreen copyright claimant was not readable on the viewed print. Martin Zweiback's onscreen credit reads: "Written and directed by," and Maurie M. Suess's credit reads: "Associate producer and production supervisor." As noted in the opening credits, Mary Layne made her theatrical film debut in the picture.
       According to news items, the film was produced by Koala Productions, in association with London Screenplays, Ltd. London Screenplays was a British company headed by Dimitri de Grunwald, who is listed onscreen as the film's presenter. London Screenplays is not listed onscreen or in reviews, however. The British-U.S. co-production was first released in London in February 1971, under the title You Can't Have Everything.
       During the scene in the movie theater, brief excerpts from a "Tom and Jerry" M-G-M cartoon and Mata Hari, a 1931 M-G-M release directed by George Fitzmaurice , are shown. The scene's newsreel contains footage of the Vietnam War, including the well-known shot of a Viet Cong prisoner-of-war being executed in the street by a South Vietnamese army officer. By 1970, when Cactus in the Snow was shot, newsreels were no longer being exhibited in first-run theaters. The newsreel in the picture, entitled Our Conflict-A Progress Report, May have been made prior to the film's production, or it May have been compiled for the film from existing news footage.
       Onscreen credits note that the film was "made in Hollywood." According to an undated Box Office item, location shooting originally was to take place in Houston, TX, but was switched to Los Angeles in order to save money. Although the story is set in an unspecified town, all of the action was filmed in the Los Angeles area, including Griffith Park and the Santa Monica Pier. As noted in the Box Office item, seventeen different shooting sites within one two-block area were also used.
       In 1970, the picture received an R rating from the MPAA, but following an appeal, was re-rated GP that same year, prior to its release. On March 26, 1971, the picture had a benefit screening in Palm Springs, CA. At that time, Chevron Pictures was listed as the film's U.S. distributor. As noted in a Daily Variety item, General Film Corp. took over as distributor in November 1971, except in thirteen Western states, where Cinema National Corp. was to handle distribution. Cinema National Corp. released the picture in Los Angeles. The film's December 1971 premiere in Houston, TX, was a benefit for the University of Houston, executive producer Rudy Durand's alma mater.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1971

Released in United States 1971