Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Cat Ballou

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Jed drunk in first scene; Kid Shelleen has a drinking problem, comically portrayed
Violence/Scariness:Shoot-outs, Cat's father killed
Diversity Issues:Prejudice against Jackson Two-Bears, an Indian
Movie Release Date:1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
Profanity: None
Nudity/Sex: None
Alcohol/Drugs: Jed drunk in first scene; Kid Shelleen has a drinking problem, comically portrayed
Violence/Scariness: Shoot-outs, Cat's father killed
Diversity Issues: Prejudice against Jackson Two-Bears, an Indian
Movie Release Date: 1965

Plot: In the days of the old West, Catherine (Cat) Ballou (Jane Fonda) takes the train home, after finishing school. She does her best to appear proper, but peeks at potboilers about the notorious Kid Shelleen inside her book. On the train, she meets escaping cattle rustler Clay Boone (Michael Callan) and his uncle Jed (Dwayne Hickman). She is attracted to Clay, but not interested in becoming involved with a criminal.

Cat is angry and upset when she gets home and sees that her father (John Marley) is being pressured to give up his land. He is killed by hired gun Tim Strawn. When her father’s ranch hand, an Indian named Jackson (Tom Nardini) and Clay and Jed are not brave enough to help her fight back, she sends for Kid Shelleen (Lee Marvin).

Kid arrives, a hopeless drunk. But they help him pull himself together, and they get their revenge. Cat is captured and sentenced to be hung, but is saved at the last minute by her friends.

Discussion: This cheerful satire of conventional Westerns is a lot of fun, with attractive performers and an Oscar -winning performance by Lee Marvin in the dual roles of Shelleen and Strawn. Stubby Kaye (“Guys and Dolls”) and Nat “King” Cole show up as something between a Greek chorus and medieval minstrels, singing the story as it unfolds. It is good for kids to see a movie with a strong, brave, and resourceful young woman, who is an effective and inspiring leader (though they all have crushes on her).

Questions for Kids:

· Why was Cat so effective at leading Clay, Jed, Kid, and Jackson?

· Do you agree with her decision to take matters into her own hands?

· How does she compare to other Western heroes, like Shane?

Connections: Watch for a character named “Butch Cassidy” in a minor role, four years before Paul Newman and Robert Redford appeared in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” by William Goldman. Marvin appeared more often as the kind of tough guy he parodies in this movie, for example, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” Jed is played by television’s Dobe Gillis, Dwayne Hickman.

Previous Posts

Who is Surprised that a Faith-Based Film Beat Zac Efron and Owen Wilson?
The end of August is traditionally one of the year's low points when it comes to Hollywood releases. So it was not surprising that the powerhouse "Straight Outta Compton" lead the box office, far ahead of the two new releases, the Owen ...

posted 5:00:55pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Alex Sheremet on Woody Allen (Part 1)
Alex Sheremet is the author of Woody Allen: Reel to Real, an in-depth exploration of the work of one of the most prolific and singular ...

posted 3:33:45pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Opening this Week: A Walk in the Woods and Learning to Drive
This week, two movies are based on first-person accounts by writers telling their own real-life stories. In The New Yorker, Katha ...

posted 3:15:50pm Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Tribute: Wes Craven
We mourn the loss of director Wes Craven, who knew what scared us and knew how much we loved being scared.  His series films included "Scream," "Nightmare on Elm Street," and "The Hills Have Eyes." My friend Simon Abrams interviewed Craven for ...

posted 10:53:30am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

Interview: Rachel Hendrix of "77 Chances"
Rachel Hendrix plays Mac in the faith-based romantic film "77 Chances." It's a "Groundhog Day"-style story about a young man who feels lost ...

posted 3:39:15pm Aug. 30, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.