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Cat Ballou (1965)

Jane Fonda , Lee Marvin , Elliot Silverstein  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, Nat 'King' Cole
  • Directors: Elliot Silverstein
  • Writers: Frank Pierson, Roy Chanslor, Walter Newman
  • Producers: Harold Hecht, Mitch Lindemann
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Georgian, Chinese, Thai
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 8, 2000
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (193 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004TJQK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,028 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cat Ballou" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Featurette: "The Legend of Cat Ballou"
  • Vintage advertising

Editorial Reviews

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(r) 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 ofthe 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 biggestbox office hits of 1965, proving the popularity of the Western spoof. Singer Nat King Cole and comed

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great DVD! July 28, 2002
By T.J.
"Well now, friends, just lend an ear / For you're now about to hear / The Ballad of Cat Ballou..." so begins the "Greek chorus" of Nat 'King' Cole and Stubby Kaye, banjos in hand. Having seen "There's Something About Mary" before "Cat Ballou," I didn't realize that the former was paying homage to the latter with this clever device. (Of course, being the original, "Cat Ballou" does it much better). By the way, the often-humorous score is by Frank DeVol.
The performances are good all around, each character with well-played and memorable funny bits. Jane Fonda plays it straight and serious next to the inept-ness of so-called outlaws Dwayne Hickman and Michael Callan and the over-the-top Lee Marvin (in a dual role as the Kid Sheleen, the drunken hero, and Tim Strawn, the bad guy with an artificial nosepiece). Marvin and the horse steal the show!
This movie is a lot of fun - pure entertainment - and the DVD people at Columbia/Tri-Star did a really good job putting together some extras. The audio commentary with Hickman and Callan itself is fun to listen to while watching the movie on repeat; it's very informative and even laugh-out-loud funny at times. The featurette with the director provides some good info on the movie, and the original trailer and vintage advertising (movie posters, etc.) is nostalgic.
The picture and sound quality is excellent; the visuals are clear and colorful, no noticeable scratches...the sound is very clear for being monaural. One side of the disc has the widescreen (definitive) version; the other side has the formatted version, which is also worth a look as it contains some extra information at the top and bottom of the screen on the scenes that were soft-matted.
I love this movie - it's nice to see that the DVD people took some interest enough to put together the special features on an almost 40-year-old film. Keep up the good work!
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wicked through and through June 16, 2000
This is a great little comedy, kind of a musical with lots of laughs, catchy songs, and some classic scenes. Lee Marvin is very deserving of his Oscar, as scene stealer Kid Shelleen. This drunken gun slinger manages to miss the broad side of a barn. Jane Fonda is great as the revenge seeking Cat Balou. "The face of an angel, fights like the devil."
However, the real treat of this film is the pair of wandering minstrels. Stubby Kaye (Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls) strums around with Nat "King" Cole providing a lovely soundtrack. Their performance really makes this movie work, and moves it beyond a western parody.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lee Marvin at his best August 22, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The late Lee Marvin was a very versatile actor, as demonstrated in this motion picture. He much deserved the academy award for his dual role, playing both the alcoholic gunman, Kid Shelleen, and the evil gunman who is his opponent. He said later that it was a fun role that did not take much of his time.

The story is set during the time of the railroad robber barons. They acquired needed right-of-ways by whatever means. When Cat's father is killed by the railroad's hired gun, she hires Kid Shelleen, sight unseen, and has to get him into shape. They dispense their own form of justice, but the law is on the side of the railroad. The motion picture has many memorable scenes that will stick in your memory.

Lee Marvin's performance made this a classic motion picture. Jane Fonda plays Cat, but without Lee it might have been a so-so film.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fonda and Marvin are Especially Good February 1, 2006
Although Jane Fonda was 27 years old when she played the title role in "Cat Ballou", she looks about 19, and that was about the intended age of her character. They gave her a very wholesome look, with her hair especially youthful looking. Pretty much all the guys in the baby boomer generation fell in love with her when they saw this film in 1965, whether they were five or 25. And pretty much all the characters in the film fall in love with her as well. This was her first film targeted at the boomer demographic and her young appearance and relative obscurity were deceptive to her new fans. Six years later when "Klute" was released folks were staggered by how used up she looked, generally because everyone had just assumed that she was younger.

In 1965 it was revolutionary to see a film with such a strong, determined, brave, and resourceful young woman, especially for a western. Although Joan Crawford, Shelley Winters, and Peggy Castle had previously played tough saloon owners, there had never been anyone quite like Fonda's character. "The times were a changin" or at least beginning to change and this film both reflected and contributed to these changes.

If you are thinking of watching "Cat Ballou" for the first time be aware that it has the standard 1960's western production design. Things are very studio back lot, very clean, and extremely orderly (insert not authentic here). And although classified as a comedy it is as much mild action/adventure as comedy. The humorous elements are mostly supplied by Lee Marvin doing a parody of the heavy roles he usually played.

Stubby Kaye and Nat "King" Cole bookend the film as banjo playing western minstrels and also function as musical narrators who pop up within scenes throughout the movie, singing the story as it unfolds.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite movie. Lee Marvin was acting perfection
My favorite movie. Lee Marvin was acting perfection.
Published 3 days ago by Mary Krug
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie.
Great movie.. but different from your average tense, action filled, good guy- bad guy cowboy flick. This is actually a musical with the later type action MIXED with singing and... Read more
Published 5 days ago by perry ander
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
one of the best movies ever made
Published 16 days ago by alfred phelps
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
All time clasic.
Published 16 days ago by richard schmitz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great old favorite
Published 16 days ago by kimjones
5.0 out of 5 stars A great show!
This one has been around for sometime but is still worth the time. Lee Marvin - for those of you who are old enough to remember - gives a great dual role performance. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Richard Small
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh.
My folks said this was great, so I watched it. Some fun parts, but maybe I'll always have a problem with Hanoi Jane. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this movie
Love this movie! So funny! Love Jane Fonda and the songs sung by Nat King Cole! Remember watching this when I was much younger and was glad I could get a copy of my own!
Published 1 month ago by Charlene Crosthwaite
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun, lighthearted melodrama
Very cute movie, a spoof of course, so expect melodrama and slapstick comedy. A classic. If you enjoyed Princess Bride, you will enjoy this one.
Published 1 month ago by Catalyst
5.0 out of 5 stars Great clasic. Worth purchasiing to view whenever you want ...
Great clasic. Worth purchasiing to view whenever you want and loan to friends who have never seen it. I'm glad it's now in my colleciton.
Published 1 month ago by Lynn Dwyer
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