Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Movie of the month - November 2010 - Cat Ballou

Well, I am running a little behind with my movie review of the month, but here is November's movie, one of my very favourite comedy/westerns, the classic Cat Ballou.

There are a number of reasons why this movie is one of my fav's. The wonderful music of Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye that pops up throughout the film, the fabulous costuming (Jane Fonda's red dress near the end is utterly stunning !!), the rollicking storyline (so great to have a female heroine - I have always loved that aspect !!), and some captivating performances all round. (This film garnished a best actor Oscar for Lee Marvin in 1966).

Without a doubt, however, the thing that endeared this movie to me more than anything was the sparkling chemistry between Jane Fonda and Michael Callan.

The two youthful actors almost audibly crackle with that 'romantic spark' between them (feigned for the camera or otherwise !).

Now, I confess Jane is a stunning, and perfectly timed comic actress, but the credit of that lively connection surely rests in the twinkling eyes of Michael Callen as the roguish, energetic cattle rustler, Clay Boone.

Michael (below) has the most cheeky, flirtatious, arduous nature in Cat Ballou, brought to life with the lightest and electric physical energy of a dancer (which he is).

(See what I mean by the cheeky expression in his eyes, above, once he catches a glimpse of Jane Fonda's character, Catherine Ballou.)

The other hugely endearing character (at least, to the female audience in my mind !!!) is the adorable 'Uncle Jedd' played to utterly likable perfection by Duane Hickman (below). Constantly getting his love struck nephew (Callen) out of trouble by bluffing his way around as a sometimes inebriated old time Minister peddling religion, Hickman's performance is wonderful. Indeed, I remember watching this movie as a young girl and not being able to make up my mind just who I liked more - the cheeky Clay Boon, or the lovable Uncle Jedd.

But all in all, this classic 1965 movie is one to put on your 'Must watch before I die' list. Tremendous characters, great comic western storyline, perfect musical score, divine costuming, and some enthralling really cant go wrong.

4.5 Choc Tops


  1. How do you get to see these lovely movies? I know my DVD store wont have them for rent.

  2. Oh honey - I have been trying to send you a response but the darn computer keeps crashing !!! The very best place I have found for great DVDs is actually the local book library. Mine has a terrific selection of classic old DVDs for hire, and if I want a title they dont have, I only have to ask and they can order it in for me.....all for free !!! :o) Good luck, hope your local is the same honey !!! Happy Christmas !! XX


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