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Cat Ballou (1965)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 9,281 users  
Reviews: 83 user | 31 critic

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

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Title: Cat Ballou (1965)

Cat Ballou (1965) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Jed
...
Shouter (as Nat King Cole)
Stubby Kaye ...
Shouter
...
...
...
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Sheriff Cardigan
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
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Sheriff Maledon
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Accuser
Paul Gilbert ...
Train Messenger
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Storyline

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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Cat Ballou Is All A Ball! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

24 June 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cat Ballou skjuter skarpt  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ann-Margret was first choice for the title role but turned it down. See more »

Goofs

When Catherine is on the train at the beginning, she addresses her teacher as "Mrs. Parker", but when talking to Jed a minute later she refers to her as "Miss Parker". See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Ballad of Cat Ballou
(uncredited)
Performed by Stubby Kaye & Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"The Queen Of The Outlaws, Her Name Is Cat Ballou"
2 April 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

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?

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