Cat Ballou (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cat Ballou (1965)

Cat Ballou (1965)

TOMATOMETER

——

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Cat Ballou Photos

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.

Watch it now

Cast

Jane Fonda
as Catherine 'Cat' Ballou
Lee Marvin
as Tim Strawn
Michael Callan
as Clay Boone
Dwayne Hickman
as Jed Beaumont
Tom Nardini
as Jackson Two-Bears
John Marley
as Frankie Ballou
Reginald Denny
as Sir Harry Percival
Jay C. Flippen
as Sheriff Cardigan
Arthur Hunnicutt
as Butch Cassidy
Stubby Kaye
as Shouter
Bruce Cabot
as Sheriff Maledon
Burt Mustin
as Accuser
Paul Gilbert
as Train messenger
Everett L. Rohrer
as Train Engineer
Harry Harvey
as Train Conductor
Hallene Hill
as Honey Girl
Gail Bonney
as Mabel Bentley
Joe Hamilton
as Frenchie
Dorothy Claire
as Singing Tart
Chuck Roberson
as Armed Guard
Ted White
as Gunslinger
Ivan L. Middleton
as Train Fireman
Carol Veazie
as Mrs. Parker
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Cat Ballou

Critic Reviews for Cat Ballou

All Critics (21)

The picture isn't as consistently funny as its reputation would suggest, but Marvin is terrific.

May 21, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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

December 22, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

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

March 23, 2008 | Rating: 4/5

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 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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

February 1, 2006 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Clever spoof with great roles for Fonda and Marvin

August 5, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Cat Ballou

½

Most review this film simply as a film and that's certainly a legitimate way to go, all things being equal, but it misses the context of the times it was created in. In 1965 a something happened that shook the world and that something we forget or take for granted: the realisation that not everyone was free. In those days there was a riot waiting to happen behind that thought depending on what side of the street one stood on. This film imagines what life might be like otherwise and therein is its importance. So there's a woman outlaw, a Native American compadre, black and white balladeers leading the narrative, and a drunk trying to reclaim his life: all losers societally, bound together to change their lives, an American tale then. And then there's the story. The story ... eh, generic Western. But the rest carries the idea, if not perfectly, of freedom from the presumption of what role lives ought to be. "I choose my life!", but played for cute, for laughs, lightheartedly.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

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
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

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
Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

Cat Ballou Quotes

Discussion Forum

Discuss Cat Ballou on our Movie forum!

News & Features