Ellen Gordon, a New York executive's mistress falls for the executive's young business associate when the young man is accidentally sent to use the apartment where the executive and his ... See full summary »
In Paris during the summer of 1914 a succession of brief liaisons begins and ends with a soldier and a tart, but on the way moves humourously and sometimes poignantly through a fascinating panorama of society and of attitudes to love.
Renee Saccard is a pampered, selfish young wife of a middle-aged Parisian businessman who falls in love with her stepson but is driven to the point of madness when her husband tricks the ... See full summary »
A young insecure college sportsman is in trouble. He wants to marry his very straightforward girlfriend, also a student, but has no money. When he is offered a bribe to fix a game, he is torn even more about the matter.
At the Doll House, a 1930's New Orleans bordello, Hallie is the main attraction both for clients and for Jo, the madame. Her comfortable if tedious life is disrupted by the arrival in town ... See full summary »
On December 23rd, Korean War veteran George Haverstick and nurse Isabel Crane - who George lovingly refers to as "Little Bit" - get married in a civil ceremony. They met when George was ... See full summary »
Eileen is 22 and is smarting from her breakup with Russ. She comes to New York to visit her brother, Adam, who is an airline pilot. Eileen confides to her brother that she thinks she may be... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
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 Queen Of The Outlaws, Her Name Is Cat Ballou"
Cat Ballou's significance in film history is not the quality of the film itself, though it's a pretty funny piece of work. It's because it vaulted Lee Marvin up from the ranks of featured players and made him a star with an hysterical Oscar winning performance.
It's also the only time in film history that anyone won an Oscar for a dual role. Marvin is featured as deadly contract killer, Jack Strawn and as his alcoholic brother Kid Shelleen.
The brothers get into a range feud and opposite sides. An eastern conglomerate headed by Reginald Denny is putting the squeeze on John Marley right at the same time as his daughter Jane Fonda in the title role is coming back from eastern finishing school.
Marley and Fonda have a hired killer strong arming them, so at the suggestion of a curious gang of friends she's developed, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, and Tom Nardini, she goes and gets her own outlaw.
Of course the dueling Marvins do have it out and I think you can guess who won.
Sometimes it's easy to forget about some of the others in Cat Ballou because of Marvin's Oscar. Jane Fonda looks like she's having a great old time, satirizing certain themes that are sacred in Hollywood westerns. She plays her role as the budding Calamity Jane absolutely straight and lets the comedy fall around her.
One favorite I have from the film is Hollywood veteran Reginald Denny. In the old days he was usually a rival or best friend to various leading men in the Hollywood English colony. He looks like he's having one grand old time playing the rakish Harry Percival the chief villain of Cat Ballou.
The film is helped along with those singing narrations by Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye. At one time Cole and Kaye are in a bordello and he's both singing and playing the honky tonk piano. Since Cole's velvet syrupy singing is what most remember him for, it's good to remember that in the beginning Cole was a jazz pianist and his original records were with the Nat King Cole Trio as a pianist. His singing was something added and then took over his career. Cole was one of the great and most unique voices of the last century, he left us way too soon.
Four years later John Wayne won his Oscar for the boozy Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. What I would have loved to have seen is Wayne and Marvin playing their Oscar winning characters in a dual venture. That would have been a movie to remember.
As is the funny and touching Cat Ballou.
12 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?