cat ballou

the year: 1965

the genre: western

the cast: Jane Fonda (Cat Ballou); Lee Marvin (Kid Shelleen / Tim Strawn); Michael Callan (Clay Boone); Swayne Hickman (Jed); Nat King Cole; Stubby Kaye; Tom Nardini (Jackson Two-Bears)

the plot: Catherine Ballou, an aspiring schoolteacher, is traveling by train to Wolf City, WY to visit her rancher father, Frankie Ballou. En route she unwittingly helps accused cattle rustler Clay Boone and his Uncle Jed elude the sheriff. She reaches the ranch to find that the Wolf City Development Corporation is trying to take the ranch away from her father, whose only defender is an educated Indian, Jackson Two-Bears. Clay and Jed appear and reluctantly offer to help Catherine, but she also hires legendary gunfighter Kid Shelleen, who turns out to be more than she expected.

watch for: the scene where Kid Shelleen's horse leans against a wall with its front legs crossed. The film's horse trainer said it couldn't be shot because horses don't cross their legs, but that it might be possible if he had a couple of days. The director gave him an hour. The trainer plied the horse with sugar cubes while repeatedly pushing its leg into position, and they were able to get the shot.

don't miss: Kid Shelleen's version of Happy Birthday.

listen for: "Yeah, it's all over in Dodge. Tombstone, too; Cheyenne, Deadwood, all gone, all dead and gone. Why, the last time I came through Tombstone, the big excitement there was about the new rollerskate rink that they had laid out over the OK Corral. I'll tell you something else, I used to work for the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and a Congress of Rough Riders. And I rescued many stagecoach passengers from road agents and drunkard injuns... in the nick of time! Twice a day, three times on Saturday."

also listen for: "Mrs. Parker didn't introduce us, I'm Catherine Ballou." "I'm drunk as a skunk."

did you know: at his acceptance of the Oscar, Lee Marvin opened by saying, "Half of this probably belongs to a horse out in the Valley somewhere".

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