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>
Lee Marvin's larger-than-life personality and fondness for tipping back the bottle made the actor a raucous but irresistible presence on the set. "Working with Lee Marvin was an unbelievable experience," said Dwayne Hickman. "Never have I met such an outrageous personality. Lee loved to drink, and the more he drank, the more outrageous he became. He had a story about everything and everybody. He also had very definite theories on acting and a style that was all his own. Lee figured if a little bit was good, a lot would be so much better. As a result, each take of a scene was bigger than the last." According to Hickman, Marvin sometimes used alcohol to enhance his performance as the drunken Kid Shelleen. For instance, the very first scene that Marvin shot was the one in which everyone meets Kid Shelleen for the first time, and he is falling down drunk. "He rehearsed several times," said Hickman, "and then went behind the barn and took a shot of vodka to steel himself. I ran into him in front of his dressing room where he had just gotten sick. When I asked if he was all right, he said, in typical Lee Marvin fashion, 'Tension, baby...just a little tension.'" See more »
As the gang has robbed the safe at the train and are ready to jump, they aren't holding anything in their hands as they start jumping off. In the next scene however, as they land on the ground they are holding money sacks from the train. 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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