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Cat Ballou (1965)


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Release Date: Jun 24, 1965 Wide



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 8,940

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Movie Info

This musical spoof of Westerns featured Lee Marvin in dual roles that won him a Best Actor Oscar. Jane Fonda stars as the title character, a prim schoolmarm returning to her hometown of Wolf City, Wyoming, after receiving an Eastern education. On the train ride, Cat meets up with a pair of friendly, charming crooks, Clay Boone (Michael Callan) and his uncle, Jed (Dwayne Hickman), the former becoming hopelessly smitten with the naive but tough Cat. Upon arriving home, Cat discovers that her

Aug 8, 2000

Columbia Pictures

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (0) | DVD (6)

Super Jane Fonda in Wild West. Ride 'em cowgirls!

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A drunk Lee Marvin on a horse to match makes this comedy western classic.

March 23, 2008

Though designed as a star vehicle for Jane Fonda, this first "official" spoof of the Western genre, catapulted Lee Marvin to major stardom, offering him two divergent roles (one played with a silver nose) for which he was rewarded with the 1965 Oscar.

June 3, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Lee Marvin clearly steals the film in his double role as the good guy/bad guy hired gunman.

February 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Clever spoof with great roles for Fonda and Marvin

August 5, 2005
Kalamazoo Gazette

Mainly remembered for Marvin's Oscar-winning comedic performance

March 12, 2004
Lawrence Journal-World

Marvin won an Oscar for his dual good guy/bad guy portrayal.

November 20, 2003
Denton Record Chronicle (TX)

First-rate western parody.

December 1, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

This is neither Fonda's finest role nor a very challenging one - it's a cleavage and one-liner affair - but it's fun and entertaining.

October 17, 2002 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

A wonderful Western spoof. Marvin great in dual role; drags at times, but mostly a hoot.

August 22, 2002
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)

Audience Reviews for Cat Ballou

A schoolteacher hires a gang of misfits to revenge her slain father.
Maybe I just don't like Westerns ... or comedies. I found all of the jokes flat and all the gags ludicrous. I chuckled once: "He did it! He missed the barn!" Lee Marvin's performance is good. He plays his typical hard-ass role, and he satirizes himself playing the drunken good guy.
The film doesn't say much. There isn't a lot in the way of femme power, but Jane Fonda isn't incredibly compelling. Tom Nardini's token Native character isn't as offensive as most Western portrayals of Native characters, but the line "It wasn't me that did that to Custer" implies that Natives are generally evil, but this one isn't (never mind that Custer had it coming to him, that blond-haired, blue-eyed criminal fuck).
Overall, fans of Westerns might like this comedy, but I'm everything but a fan of Westerns.
July 21, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Somewhere inside of Cat Ballou is a great movie trying to get out. With a rarely more beautiful Jane Fonda (see the scene towards the end in the red dress) and a great comedic dual role from Lee Marvin this movie begs to be noticed. But all the other shit driving me away was the problem. Let's start with the whole Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye thing -- STOP! If the songs are actually serving some purpose to move the story forward, fine but if they're just pissing people (namely me) off cut the crap. Then the chemistry between Fonda and Michael Callan was non-existent along with most of the jokes. And were there really natives who spoke Yiddish? Were there really?
December 28, 2010

Super Reviewer

I've seen better women westerns than this, so this movie felt very silly and average. It gets a laugh here and there, but overall it's just okay.
December 6, 2010

Super Reviewer

Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin are both great in this spoof of the western genre. Nat King Cole is also choice as the Greek choir singing the story of Cat Balou...

Did I mention Jane Fonda?
December 24, 2007

Super Reviewer

    1. Cat Ballou: Some gang! An Indian ranch hand, a drunken gunfighter, a sex maniac, and an uncle!
    – Submitted by G Thomas B (11 months ago)
    1. Jackson Two-Bears: Kid, Kid what a time to fall of the wagon. Look at your eyes.
    2. Kid Shelleen/Tim Strawn: What's wrong with my eyes?
    3. Jackson Two-Bears: Well, they're all red, bloodshot.
    4. Kid Shelleen/Tim Strawn: You ought to see 'em from my side.
    – Submitted by Hector H (2 years ago)
    1. Clay Boone: He did it! He missed the barn!
    – Submitted by Hector H (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Cat Ballou (1965) (DE)
  • Cat Ballou (UK)
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