|CAT BALLOU ... THE COMEDY REVIEW|
"It's That Way-Out Whopper Of A Funny Western... A She-Bang To End All She-Bangs!"
Cat Ballou is billed as a modern, tongue in cheek comedic western, that has a sharp, witty, warm script and action-packed story line, complete with singing minstrels, (Nat King Cole & Stubby Kaye).
Catherine Ballou's troubles start when the mean and nasty railroad wants the family farmland. For protection, she sends for the famous Kid Shelleen (Lee Marvin), who has a few quirts, like being a drunk; having a hard time remaining sober. Her trials intensify when a railroad gunman kills her father. Catherine (Jane Fonda), vows to keep fighting and is determined to get justice and revenge against the people who were responsible for her father's death, which inspires the minstrels mentioned above to tell her story, in the ballad of Cat Ballou in between the scenes.
The movie's entire cast, direction, script, and music make quite an entertaining, humorous film that holds up very well in this day and age, and belongs on the great comedy page.
Roy Chanslor wrote the novel and Walter Newman wrote this funny screenplay, giving the cast plenty to work with. Director Elliot Silverstein brought plenty of experience to this delightful film, and does a fabulous job.
Cast includes: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Nat 'King' Cole, Stubby Kaye, Tom Nardini, John Marley, Reginald Denny, Jay C. Flippen, Arthur Hunicutt, and Burt Mustin.
Lee Marvin shines and stretches his acting ability, showing off his comedic ability as he delightfully and skillfully plays both boozer gunslinger, Shelleen, and Shelleen's evil twin brother, Tim Strawn, who the railroad hires of course. Marvin also does the physical gags well, such as managing to ride sideways on a horse in several scenes.
Jane Fonda does her usual great job as the school teacher turned outlaw, bent on fighting the system as it was in this old west town. Her talented ability to do a heroine in a comedic light fits very well into the ensemble cast's efforts to work well together to display just the right comedic timing & flavor in this well written and nicely directed script.
Michael Callan more than measures up to be Jane's "love interest." Dwayne Hickman, a great character actor, blooms in the scenes he's in as Callan's uncle. Tom Nardini is wonderful as the hired hand, who is a rather reluctant fellow quest seeker with Cat Ballou and her gang.
This movie is highly recommended for family viewing.
If you enjoyed CAT BALLOU you may like SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHERIFF, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL GUNFIGHTER, THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL SOCIAL CLUB, SHANGHAI NOON, THE FRISCO KID, THE SKIN GAME, MAVERICK, THE APPLE DUMPLIN' GANG, and THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS.
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