In 1864, due to frequent Apache raids from Mexico into the US, a Union officer decides to illegally cross the border and destroy the Apache, using a mixed army of Union troops, Confederate POWs, civilian mercenaries and scouts.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The cast and crew had to work fast for the location shots since they needed to beat the inevitable Colorado winter weather and finish up before the first snowfall. 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 »
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 »
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.
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