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Cat Ballou (1965)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, Western | 24 June 1965 (USA)
3:29 | Trailer

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A woman seeking revenge for her murdered father hires a famous gunman, but he's very different from what she expects.



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Frank R. Pierson) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Shouter / Sunrise Kid (as Nat King Cole)
Stubby Kaye ...
Shouter / Sam the Shade
Tom Nardini ...
Sheriff Cardigan
Sheriff Maledon
Paul Gilbert ...
Train Messenger


Cat(herine) Ballou's family farm is being threatened by the Rail Road. She sends for Kid Shelleen, finding him to be the drunkest gunfighter in the west. When her father is killed by the rail road magnate's gunman, she vowes to fight on. Shelleen manages to ride sideways in several scenes, while minstrels sing the ballad of Cat Ballou in between scenes. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A gen-u-ine movie first! A way-out whopper! A funny movie? YOU BET IT IS...! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cat Ballou skjuter skarpt  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Eastman Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Like several other Columbia releases of the 1960s (i.e., Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Strait-Jacket (1964)), this film includes a spoof of the studio logo, in this case with the Torch Lady doffing her robes in animation and turning into a cartoon cowgirl. See more »


In the opening scene when the hanging gallows are being tested, the rope and sandbags fall through the trap door and end up about 3 feet off the ground. If the person being hanged ended up 3 feet above the ground, they would live. See more »


[first lines]
Professor Sam The ShadeThe Sunrise Kid: [singing] Well now friends just lend an ear for you're now about to hear the Ballad of Cat Ballou.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The traditional Columbia logo turns into a cartoon figure who strips her gown off, and becomes a caricature of Jane Fonda in a cowboy outfit. She then fires her guns into the air, the ground, and across her body multiple times! See more »


The Ballad of Cat Ballou
Written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
Performed by Stubby Kaye & Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

Riotous, slam-bang Western comedy!
26 January 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

In the most lighthearted roles of their careers, Academy Award-winner Jane Fonda (Klute, Coming Home) and Lee Marvin (winner of the Best Actor Oscar for this performance) shine as the title character, a virtuous young schoolmarm who sets out to avenge the death of her father Frankie (played by John Marley), and as drunken sharpshooter Kid Shelleen, who agrees to help the young woman go after the killer(s). Along for the ride are Clay Boone (Michael Callan), a handsome young felon who is sheltered by Cat and falls in love with her; Jed (Dwayne Hickman), Clay's Bible-thumping uncle, and Jackson Two-Bears (Tom Nardini, who is hilarious), the Ballou's hired hand who philosophically comments on the treatment of Native Americans. Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye are enjoyable as troubadours who sing the plot of the movie as it moves along. Fonda never looked more beautiful, Marvin is a hoot (as Shelleen and his twin brother, the silver-nosed Tim Strawn), and the screenplay (by Walter Newman, Frank R. Pierson and Roy Chanslor, from his novel) is remarkable. Memorable scenes include the opening train sequence, the brawl at the square dance, the showdown between Cat and Sir Percival (played by character actor Reginald Denny) and the conclusion at the gallows. Delightful from start to finish! ***1/2 out of ****

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