Cat Ballou (1965)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Western  |  24 June 1965 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 9,987 users  
Reviews: 84 user | 32 critic

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 »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Shouter (as Nat King Cole)
Stubby Kaye ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's That Way-Out Whopper Of A Funny Western...A She-Bang To End All She-Bangs! See more »


Comedy | Western


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?


At his acceptance of the Oscar, Lee Marvin opened by saying, "Half of this probably belongs to a horse out in the Valley somewhere". See more »


During the train robbery scene, there are both a single and a double set of railroad tracks shown. Most long shots show a single set and the close up shots show the double set. The scene ends with the actors brushing themselves off in front a double set of tracks. 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 »


Referenced in Animaniacs: No Pain, No Painting/Les Miseranimals (1993) See more »


Rock of Ages
Written by Augustus Montague Toplady
Sung by the Townsfolk
See more »

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User Reviews

A funny sad romp through the not-so-old West!!!
21 September 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This HAS to be one of Jane Fonda's favorite movies: she gets to be both shy naive ingenue and rip roaring Western leader of an outlaw gang. Her outlawing is beautifully justified as the evil town members plot to take over her father's spread and finally have him killed. All are in on the plot/take, including the sheriff, a ne'er do well planted in the job. There are many similarities to 'Silverado', an equally well acted ensemble tour de force. Whoever did Lee Marvin's drunken riding, mostly out of the saddle, close to the ground, did a superior riding job. And if it was Lee himself, more credit to him. He got the Oscar and justifiably so. Under the comedy was the message concerning the sheep-like behavior of 'respectable, middle-class people', the wicked townfolk, bankrolled by the Wolf Company (love these names). Katherine Ballou, the respectable lovely schoolmistress, goes bad as the 'nice' people show themselves to be worse than the outlaws. Hole-in-the-Wall outlaws are allowed to live there undisturbed because the scion of the Wolfe company (who is responsible for having Jane's father shot and whom Jane shoots) lets them alone. They existed safely 'under the radar', but they want to put Jane et al out, because her gang's actions make them visible. Reminds me of many Massachusetts politicians, as well as Whitey Bulger.

The 'Indian's' comments are hilarious, expecially about Custer, spoken as he is surrounded by neatly dressed town thugs. It's an up-to-date funny tale with a social morale. You get the lesson without the moralizing. I loved it, and so glad I bought it.

34 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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