Cat(herine) Ballou's family farm is being threatened by the railroad. She sends for Kid Shelleen, finding him to be the drunkest gunfighter in the west. When her father is killed by the railroad magnate's gunman, she vows to fight on. Shelleen manages to ride sideways in several scenes, while minstrels sing the ballad of Cat Ballou in between scenes. —John Vogel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Tour de force performance by Marvin makes this a hit!
Jane Fonda plays Cat Ballou, back in the days when she was not only acting but also accepting sexy kittenish roles, a rancher's daughter out to avenge the murder of said rancher by the bad guys who run the town. Yep, it's a sex Western, one that gives us the one-of-a-kind performances of Fonda and of Lee Marvin, who has two roles - an alcoholic gunslinger who's supposed to be Cat's saving and a mean, dastardly hit man with a prosthetic nose - and who won himself an Oscar for his delightful work. But it's not just the lighthearted performances of the actors that floats this film, it's also the riveting, uproarious script. The pace is never dull - there are some Westerns that'll slow things down to kind of add mood to a story, but not this one. This would make a nice double-bill with another of Fonda's sexy early roles, "Barbarella."
- Feb 20, 2000
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