Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known as Comancheros.
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>
Roy Chanslor's original novel was a serious western. The comedy elements were added for the film. See more »
The hot "steam" vapors which emerge from Kid Shelleen's bath should rise rather than sink as they are ostensibly lighter than air; they sink because they are actually heavier-than-air dry ice vapors. See more »
The opening Columbia logo is followed by the first verse of the "Cat Ballou" song, sung by Nat 'King' Cole and Stubby Kaye, complete with scenes of the town. We then see go to the opening credits. See more »
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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