Cat Ballou

Cat Ballou

(1965)

Directed by Elliot Silverstein

Starring Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan

Rating: ******
              6/6

Cat Ballou staring at the gallows.

Two happy musicians
Are singing a ballad,
The Ballad of Cat Ballou
They narrate her story
In all of its glory,
And they show her Imprisoned, too.

Cat Ballou, they sang,
Today would go hang
From The Gallows in Wolf City.
We see into her cell.
The Condemned looks well,
Well-dressed and very pretty.

The singers tell us
That she killed a man.
We see people protesting her name,
For she used her power
To kill someone in power.
Now the city would not be the same.

Then they turn back time
To maybe a year,
Before this business came about.
We see young Cat Ballou,
A teacher for school,
Going West her first time out.

Cat Ballou on the train.

She’s travelling
To meet her father
And to see his ranch firsthand.
She meets two men
On the train she’s on,
Who seem like criminal men.

One man is chained
To an old lawman
And with help from his very close buddy,
He escapes the Law
And with a grand guffaw,
Leaps from the train and gets muddy.

She doesn’t know this then,
But these two men
Join up with her outlaw band.
She leads a team
Including Kid Shelleen,
A fierce gun-slinging man.

The legendary name
Of Kid Shelleen
Is known from coast to coast.
There’s none more manly
Then this rugged cowboy
Whose legend shines the most.

Kid Shelleen
Is played by
The unmistakable Lee Marvin,
Filling him with much of
The character of Lee Marvin.

Marvin plays
A man so drunk
He can barely stand or see.
It’s a character
He plays so well
He got an award from the Academy.

Lee Marvin as Kid Shelleen.

He makes the
Movie funnier
Then it otherwise might have been,
But that’s not to say
The rest of this film
Does not deserve to be seen.

In contrast,
It’s the story
And the characters and the fun
That make me rate
This a six out of six.
Yes, I love it a ton.

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