W. Bright (Burt Reynolds) is a robber with a heart of gold who travels the South knocking off banks and gas stations owned by a corrupt businessman. When he hijacks a car, he meets an aspiring country band, the Dixie Dancekings, led by Dixie (Conny Van Dyke). The two sides eventually take a liking to one another, especially after the Dancekings realize the size of Bright's thefts. Trailed by ... See full summary »
It's the frontier of the American west. Shortly after being released from prison where he was serving a sentence for murder, Jay Grobart leads a band of three other men - Dawes, Billy Bowen and an Indian named Charlie Bent - in robbing a train of its Wells Fargo cargo of $100,000. In their escape from the scene, they are forced out of circumstance to take along a young woman, against her will, she who is traveling by herself on horseback. She is Mrs. Willard Crocker - Catherine - who they can tell is wealthy. Although they do not let her go, she vows that she will not tell the authorities about them as she, like them, is running away. As Jay, the leader, embarks on his next mission - to fulfill the reason he stole the money - he has the problems of managing the three men, Dawes and Billy in particular who are solely out for their own selfish wants which now includes their carnal wants with Catherine, and making sure Catherine does not escape. But as they spend more time together and ...Written by
Burt Reynolds said of the film, "There's nothing to talk about in 'Cat Dancing' except that it brings me pain. So I'd rather not talk about it". See more »
During the opening credits Catherine is riding "side saddle" but her legs are both on the right side of the horse, which is the "wrong" side for an English ladies' saddle. The film is flopped in this shot as later she has her legs on the proper side. See more »
[Discussing an escape plan with Dawes]
As soon as it gets dark, I'll get my horse and go.
Yeah? How ya' gonna' manage that?
I'll just say I have to... "tend to myself."
Women "tend to themselves," huh?... Men just take a piss.
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The most romantic Burt Reynolds I've ever seen is the Burt that heads the cast of The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing. He's also dangerous and deadly when he has to be.
Reynolds like James Garner is usually comic and cynical in his best remembered films. But in this one he becomes quite the romantic hero, almost like out of a romance novel especially to the object of his affection Sarah Miles.
Burt heads an outlaw gang that consists of Bo Hopkins, Jack Warden, and Jay Varela and one fine day while they're robbing a train Sarah Miles crosses their path. She's running away from her husband George Hamilton, her rich husband who's paying a lot of good wages for a personal posse. Caught in the middle of all this is Wells Fargo man Lee J. Cobb.
Reynolds and Miles make such a great romantic couple rarely seen in westerns. Jimmy Stewart and Debra Paget in Broken Arrow come closest to mind, but Stewart was an unabashed hero, not like Reynolds the outlaw.
The title refers to the name of Reynolds's Shoshone wife Cat Dancing who died years earlier. That story is essential to understanding how Reynolds's character developed as it did. Miles is a woman who finds true love, but also gets a lot of romantic notions knocked out of a silly head.
For fans of westerns and romance.
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