Cat Ballou

Cat Ballou
Cat Ballou
  • UR
  • 1h 36m
  • 1965
Common Sense Media Iconage 9+
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The sleeper hit of 1965, Cat Ballou was declared an instant classic when its sly blend of Western parody and rapid-fire action hit the screen. Lee Marvin won an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actor in his dual role as both Tim Strawn, a noseless ("it got bit off in a fight") gunslinger, and as Kid Shelleen, the woozy, boozy, has-been who goes up against Strawn at high noon. In accepting the award, Marvin said, "I think half of this belongs to a horse somewhere in the Valley," referring to the hilarious scene where Marvin and the horse both lean against a shed in a drunken stupor (certainly one of the most famous sight gags ever). Jane Fonda, at the height of her sex-kitten period, stars as Catherine "Cat" Ballou, the schoolmarm-turned-outlaw who teams with Kid to protect her father's ranch from a greedy railroad tycoon. Filmed in just 32 days, Cat Ballou went on to become one of the biggest box office hits of 1965, proving the popularity of the Western spoof. Singer Nat King Cole and comedian Stubby Kaye also appear in this wild and wooly Western comedy classic, singing the title song, "The Ballad of Cat Ballou."
© 1965 renewed 1993 Columbia Pictures Industries , Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

Creative Loafing
Matt Brunson

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

June 25, 2017
Steve Crum

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

June 21, 2017
Emanuel Levy

Though designed as a star vehicle for Jane Fonda, this first "official" spoof of the Western genre...

June 21, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 9+
Common Sense Says
Wild West satire with strong heroine, but drinking humor.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the humor in this 1965 comedy is based almost entirely on outrageous drunkenness and sly sexual innuendo. The heroine takes the law into her own hands and leads a gang of con men and drunks on a criminal spree to avenge her father's murder. There are numerous action sequences, which include gunfights, brawls, murders, a train robbery -- none of them meant to be taken seriously. A young Native American hero is subjected to some racial taunting. Alcohol and cartoon-like drunkenness are pervasive.

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Positive Messages
Positive Role Models
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Additional Info

  • Genre:Action
  • Release Date:May 7, 1965
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
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