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MatchFlick Member Reviews
Cat Ballou
3 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Elliot Silverstein

Cast:
Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, Nat King Col

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Cat Ballou (1965)
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Movie Review by Zara
June 2nd, 2007

Lee Marvin is the sh*t

I have a soft spot for Jane Fonda. This was one of the movies that I watched over and over again as a kid, whenever it would air on Sunday Afternoon at the Movies, the block of programming on channel 5. I thought that she was beautiful and smart. Something about Fonda always had this regal air about her, it was something that even a child could pick up on.

When I got older, I learned to appreciate her sense of humour, especially in the roles that she chose to take when she was younger. I was unaware of her family history when I was a kid so I didn't understand that there was motivation behind her role selections. I think that's most of the reason why I love BARBARELLA so much.

This is the story of an educated young woman out in the wild west who gets together to try and protect her father from being bumped off by the local land developer who wants to build on his ranch land. That point is fairly important early on, but as the movie develops, it loses focus and becomes more about Cat and her need for revenge, coming in the form of robbing the payroll from a train and murdering the man who owned the company.

The movie holds up well considering that it's over 40 years old. The music is catchy (sang in portions by Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye) and there's no denying that Lee Marvin is a marvel. Given the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in this movie, Marvin joked in his acceptance speech that he owed half of the win to his horse. Personally, I think he did a mighty fine job all on his own.

When I was a kid I used to get moony-eyed over Michael Callan. I didn't know that he was a teen heartthrob in his time (formerly known as Mickey Callan) or that he would later become an alcoholic whose fame peaked in 1969, after which he ruined his dashing good looks. I watched this movie today and thought about how much of a shame that was. The man really was dreamy.

As is Dwayne Hickman, in his own right. Cast as the uncle of Callan, Hickman is best known for playing Dobie Gillis on TV.

The best part about watching old westerns/comedies is that they're clean and safe to share with your children. Plus it gives them that edge up, knowing a little more about movie history than the other kids their age. And physical comedies like this one never age, so while there's no CGI, the magic of seeing a drunken man sliding sideways off his horse as he rides into the sunset will still get giggles out of a 6 year old. It won't matter if they were born in 1960 or 2000.

Heh.... or 1975 for that matter.

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Jamie
Jun 2, 2007 10:26 PM
 
I tried watching this movie at least a good year or two ago, and didn't get very far into it. Maybe I'll give it another chance.



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