Cat Ballou (1965) - Rotten Tomatoes

Cat Ballou (1965)




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.more
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


Jane Fonda
as Catherine 'Cat' Ball...
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 (25) | 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

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

Full Review… | May 21, 2016
Creative Loafing

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

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 V

Super Reviewer

Cat Ballou Quotes

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

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