Saturday, 1 January 2011

Best Actor 1965: Lee Marvin in Cat Ballou

Lee Marvin won his Oscar from his only nomination for portraying Kid Shelleen and Tim Strawn in Cat Ballou.

Cat Ballou is a western comedy that I enjoyed quite a bit the first time I watched it, I will admit I lost a little the second time around but I still enjoyed it.

Lee Marvin's win here certainly goes against the Oscar grain. This is because he won for a just about completely comedic performance which is rarely rewarded, he also played two characters, and he was up against pretty heavy dramatic contenders. Marvin's two roles though are not equal though. Tim Strawn is the villainous twin who has far less screen time. I will say Marvin is perfect technically as Strawn. He looks properly evil and act properly threatening, even though maybe it is the great music queue when he is seen or mentioned. Either way Strawn is made a dangerous and threatening villain by Marvin quite well despite the shortness of this part of the performance. Strawn as written is not much of a character really, but Marvin does a good job with him.

I did not enjoy the film as much as the first time but one part of the film I still enjoyed whole heartily was Marvin as Kid Shelleen. About a performance like this all I really can say is Marvin is very enjoyable to watch and simply is funny. His portrayal of Kid Shelleen is enjoyable throughout his performance. His drunken movements, and swaggering, are funny, everything he does basically in this performance is funny. I really especially enjoy his reaction when he hears the enemy gun fighter is Tim Strawn, that is just great. Marvin steals the film absolutely in every scene he is in he is the best part. He even did this in a scene where everyone else is talking and he is not, just by the amusement created by the faces he makes, and the reactions he makes. Marvin's performance is not one of complication but it is certainly one of enjoyment.
Well I am glad I got to review a good performance for the first of the year, and for my first anniversary of this blog.


dinasztie said...

Happy new year and anniversary for your blog! And I agree.

Fritz said...

Happy anniversary!

I really love this movie, I think it's hilarious and one of Jane's best performances. The men in the movie are all great but I don't know how I would judge Lee since his performance is so unusual.

joe burns said...

Happy Aniversary!

I think he might come in 2nd or third, it sounds really interesting.

Anonymous said...

Thought he was terrific!

Louis Morgan said...

Joe: You should definitely see it Joe, Marvin is one of the most fun Oscar winning performances to watch.