Jane Fonda-Catherine Ballou
Lee Marvin-Kid Shelleen / Tim Strawn
Michael Callan-Clay Boone
Dwayne Hickman-Uncle Jed
Nat ‘King’ Cole-Shouter
Tom Nardini-Jackson Two-Bears
John Marley-Frankie Ballou
Reginald Denny-Sir Harry Percival
Jay C. Flippen-Sheriff Cardigan
Arthur Hunnicutt-Butch Cassidy
Carol Veazie-Mrs. Parker
Bruce Cabot-Sheriff Maledon
Erik Sorenson-Sir Harry’s Valet
This 1966 spoof of western movies takes place in Wolf City, Wyoming in 1894. Lee Marvin has a dual role in the film. He plays Kid Kelleen, the drunken gunfighter hired by Cat Ballou. His other role is that of the villainous Tim Strawn, Kid Shelleens brother. Marvin won the best actor Oscar in 1966 for these roles. Many people believed he shouldn’t have won over Rod Steiger in The Pawnbroker or Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold or Laurence Olivier in Othello but he does turns in a great performance. Even he joked about it when accepting the Oscar. “I think one-half of this belongs to some horse somewhere in the Valley,” he said, referring to his horse in the movie which, at times, looked just as drunk as Kid Shelleen.
Catherine Ballou is played by Jane Fonda who is not known for her comedy roles and sometimes it shows in her portrayal of Cat Ballou. Overall, though, she does a good job.
Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman and Tom Nardini seem more comfortable in their roles in the movie than Fonda and they turn in excellent performances. There is also the added bonus of having Stubby Kaye and Nat King Cole stroll through the movie as troubadours singing the story of Cat Ballou.
Cat Ballou is a school teacher who turns outlaw after her father is killed by a hired gun, Tim Strawn, who works for the Wolf City Development Corporation, an organization which wants the Ballou ranch. The misfits of her gang are Jackson, the Indian who worked for her father, Clay Boone, a petty criminal she’d met on the train and Clay’s Uncle Jed who seems to be around only to get Clay out of trouble. The other member of her gang is Kid Shelleen, the has-been drunken gunfighter that she hired for fifty dollars. Cat’s goal is to rob trains and break Wolf City as revenge for the killing of her father.
Ther are more minor characters in this file that you may or may not recognize. The most memorable is probably Arthur Hunnicutt playing an aging Butch Cassidy. Did Cassidy really die in South America? That’s a debate that won’t be taken up here.
The movie is based on the book The Ballad of Cat Ballou by Roy Chanslor. We recommend that you rent this movie or, better yet, purchase it from the link on this page.
Wav Sound Files (11KHz)
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Wav Sound Effects From the Movie (11KHz)
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