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The Ballad of Josie (1967)

A widow stirs things up in a western town by raising sheep instead of cattle and organizing the local women to demonstrate for women's suffrage.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Josie Minick
Jason Meredith
Arch Ogden
Judge Tatum
District Attorney Charlie Lord
Sheriff Fonse Pruitt
Annabelle Pettijohn
Karen Jensen ...
Deborah Wilkes
Elisabeth Fraser ...
Widow Renfrew
Linda Meiklejohn ...
Jenny McCardle
Shirley O'Hara ...
Alpheus Minick


Josie Minick is a widow, who is forced to fend for herself. Josie living in a cattle country, finds herself in odds and war with the cattlemen of the town, when she decides to make a sheep farm her livelihood. Written by Kelly

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The wildest, woolist sheepwoman who ever cowed a herd of cattle barons! See more »


Comedy | Western


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Release Date:

1 February 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch  »

Box Office


$1,320,000 (USA) (31 December 1968)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Final film of William Talman. See more »


Josie gets caught on a roll of flypaper, the type of which was not invented until 50 years after the movie was set. See more »


Jason Meredith: If I had thought about it, we would have stopped to eat north of the deadline.
Josie Minick: The what?
Jason Meredith: The deadline. We passed it about ten minutes back. Sheep to the south, cattle to the north.
Josie Minick: I don't know anything about a deadline.
Jason Meredith: Well, there's nothing complicated about it. You see, the cowmen opened up this territory and then the sheepmen tried to move in. Well, we had quite a debate. We burned a lot of powder and a lot of lead and we buried a few. And then finally we drew a line across the southeast ...
See more »


Featured in What a Difference a Day Made: Doris Day Superstar (2009) See more »


The Ballad of Josie
Lyrics by Floyd Huddleston
Music by Don Costa
Sung by Ron Dante (as Ronnie Dante)
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User Reviews

Doris goes west, with her film career going south
31 July 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The main reason for seeing 'The Ballad of Josie' in the first place for me was Doris Day, having been of late on a completest quest seeing all the films of hers not yet seen.

Despite being one of her lowest rated films here (along with 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?' and 'Caprice'), being one of her less well critically received films and being disliked by Day herself, 'The Ballad of Josie' isn't that bad. At least from respectful personal opinion, though it does have a good deal wrong with it and it was made during a rather rocky period of Day's film career. Of course it is among the weaker end of her overall films but it is better than 'Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?', 'Lucky Me', 'Starlift', 'The West Point Story' (aka 'Fine and Dandy') and 'Tunnel of Love', all but one of which rated higher.

As is the case with all her films, even her lesser ones, Day is the reason to see the film in the first place and also the best thing about it. She does a very good job, having a balance of charm and feistiness. 'The Ballad of Josie' is a good-looking film too, not exactly evocative but full of rustic attractive colours and handsomely designed production values shot beautifully.

Regarding the music, it is pretty excellent. It is cleverly orchestrated and rousing. The title song is a lovely and memorable one, though, despite Don Costa singing it well, there was a missed opportunity regarding Day not singing it. Was mixed on the supporting cast but felt that Elizabeth Fraser beguiled the screen whenever she appeared, Andy Devine clearly has fun and brought some much needed authenticity and John Fiedler is amusing.

However, not all the supporting cast come off well, suffering from characters that are not particularly interesting or used well. Peter Graves has a bland uninteresting role and plays it just as much, while George Kennedy's character is underwritten and underused (although it is a kind of role that Kennedy is perfect for and he does his best with what he's given). Having Andrew V. McLaglen on board as director promised a lot, being a veteran of the western genre. The simplicity of the direction is to be admired, but too much of the time it was a case of getting the job done but it comes over as workmanlike.

Sadly the story is often very dull, narratively it is as thin as a thin piece of tissue and in the more less than eventful parts the pace is sluggish. The script is tonally somewhat muddled, with some frequent and too often tiresome attempts at humour that never seems to fit and the more western-oriented parts lack grit. Despite looking good, 'The Ballad of Josie' never looks evocative with a lot of it looking too clean, too nice and too newly fresh.

Overall, a long way from a disaster but Day did much better in her career and deserved better as well. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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