May 212016
 

Cao Ballou is a well done and one hell of an entertaining, and oft funny, Western comedy. The movie excels with the performances by its two leads — Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin — and some catchy tunes to go along with a well written story and characters.

 

 

Cat Ballou
(1965)


REVIEW NAVIGATION

The Movie
| Special Features | Video Quality | Audio Quality | Overall

Genre(s): Western, Comedy, Crime
Twilight Time | NR – 96 min. – $29.95 | May 10, 2016

Date Published: 05/21/2016 | Author: The Movieman


 

MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Elliot Silverstein
Writer(s): Roy Chanslor (novel); Walter Newman and Frank R. Pierson (screenplay)
Cast: Jane Fonda, Lee Marvin, Michael Callan, Dwayne Hickman, Nat King Cole, Stubby Kaye

DISC INFO:
Features:
Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Theatrical Trailer
Digital Copy: No
Formats Included: Blu-ray
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), English (DTS-HD MA 2.0)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Size: 39.3 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C


PLOT SYNOPSIS

Directed by Elliot Silverstein from a screenplay by Walter Newman and Frank Pierson, Cat Ballou is a wonderful comic Western starring Jane Fonda as the titular big-hearted beauty, who hires a notorious gunman to avenger her father’s death. Kid Shelleen (LEE MARVIN playing dual roles including his evil twin brother) turns out to be a has-been drunk… until he pulls himself together in an effort to assist the embattled Cat.

Quick Hit Review: I’m not a big fan of Westerns but this is a one fun ride filled with some great music, compelling story (even for a comedy) and spectacular and charismatic performances from Jane Fonda, showcasing her lighter side, and Lee Marvin, who took home the Academy Award for his dual role. It’s a breezy little film that is delightful from beginning to its satisfying end.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.5/5

This release comes with a 6-page essay booklet.

Audio Commentaries
1) Actors Michael Callan and Dwayne Hickman – These two provide for a fascinating and incredibly fun track, playing off one another like two old friends and recounting their time working on the film.

2) Film Historians Eddy Friedfeld, Lee Pfeiffer, and Paul Scrabo – This is a far more educational track giving a historical perspective of the film.

Lee and Pamela: A Romance (34:08; HD) is a profile, recorded in 2007, on Lee Marvin and the love of his life, Pamela, as she discusses her marriage and what kind of man Lee was.

The Legend of Cat Ballou (12:36; SD) is an old interview with director Elliot Silverstein on making the film. It features some archival pictures.

Original Theatrical Trailer (3:30; HD)

 


VIDEO – 4.25/5

Cat Ballou sings its way onto Blu-ray courtesy of Twilight Time. The film is shown in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and presented with a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). It’s very doubtful that this movie has ever looked better: detail looks sharp and well defined while colors are generally vibrant even with the Western setting and skin tones look natural. There were some minor specs here and there but for the most part it’s a well done transfer.

 

AUDIO – 4.5/5

There are two options available, one is a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track, the other 2.0 DTS-HD MA with the former default when playing the movie. Both are solid options with the first getting a slight boost yet it’s nothing notable while the 2 channel version is also perfectly serviceable. There’s some nice depth in both with crisp and clear dialogue levels throughout while having plenty of music gives it the most depth.

 



OVERALL – 3.0/5

Overall, Cao Ballou is a well done and one hell of an entertaining, and oft funny, Western comedy. The movie excels with the performances by its two leads — Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin — and some catchy tunes to go along with a well written story and characters. The Blu-ray released through Twilight Time offers good video and audio transfers and a respectable selection of bonus features.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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