Cat Ballou (1965)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This western spoof tells the story of a tough schoolmarm who becomes a gunslinger to avenge the death of her father. Knowing the killer to be a formidable foe, she hires his twin brother, a drunken lout barely able to stand up, let alone hold a gun.

Rating: G
Genre: Western, Musical & Performing Arts, Classics, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Walter Newman, Roy Chanslor, Frank Pierson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 8, 2000
Columbia Pictures


as Catherine 'Cat' Ball...

as Tim Strawn

as Clay Boone

as Jed Beaumont

as Jackson Two-Bears

as Frankie Ballou

as Sir Harry Percival

as Sheriff Cardigan

as Butch Cassidy

as Shouter

as Sheriff Maledon

as Accuser

as Train messenger

as Train Engineer

as Train Conductor

as Honey Girl

as Mabel Bentley

as Frenchie

as Singing Tart

as Hardcase

as Armed Guard

as Ad-Lib

as Gunslinger

as Train Fireman

as Mrs. Parker
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Cat Ballou

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | May 26, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | December 22, 2010
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.

Full Review… | June 3, 2007

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.

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?

Michael Gildea

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.

AJ Verser

Super Reviewer

Cat Ballou Quotes

– Submitted by G Thomas B (2 years ago)
– Submitted by Hector H (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Hector H (3 years ago)

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