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George Harrison appeared in a handful of films and even opened his own production company. He loved movies, but there was one film he simply couldn’t get behind. In the 1960s, he watched a screening of a much-loved Western while on LSD. He couldn’t stand the movie, referring to it as a “load of baloney shite.” Here’s the movie that aggravated him so deeply.

George Harrison was not a fan of a much-loved film

In the 1960s, The Beatles were in Los Angeles and decided to take LSD. They spent their afternoon swimming in a pool with Peter Fonda and members of The Byrds. Later in the day, they attended a screening of the film Cat Ballou.

“Later on that day, we were all tripping out and they brought several starlets in and set up a movie for us to watch in the house,” he said in The Beatles Anthology. “By the evening, there were all these strangers sitting around with their make-up on — and acid just cuts through all that bulls***. The movie was put on, and — of all things — it was a drive-in print of Cat Ballou. The drive-in print has the audience response already dubbed onto it, because you’re all sitting in your cars and don’t hear everybody laugh. Instead, they tell you when to laugh and when not to. It was bizarre, watching this on acid.”

A black and white still of Lee Marvin holding a gun and jumping in front of Jane Fonda and two other actors in 'Cat Ballou.'
‘Cat Ballou’ | Pictorial Parade/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Harrison already disliked the film’s star, Lee Marvin, and he struggled to find any positive aspects about the movie. Despite Harrison’s problems with the film, it was a critical success. Marvin won an Oscar for his performance, and it picked up nominations for Best Screenplay, Film Editing, Scoring, and Song.

“I’ve always hated Lee Marvin, and listening on acid to that other little dwarf bloke with a bowler hat on, I thought it was the biggest load of baloney shite I’d ever seen in my life; it was too much to stand,” Harrison said. “But you just trip out.”

He said the experience of watching was disorienting

Harrison found the experience of watching the film incredibly disorienting. He would suddenly fall back into his body and realize he was still sitting there, watching Cat Ballou.

“I noticed that I’d go ‘out there.’ I’d be gone somewhere, and then — bang! — I’d land back in my body,” he said. “I’d look around and see that John [Lennon] had just done the same thing. You go in tandem, you’re out there for a while and then — boing! whoa! — ‘What happened? Oh, it’s still Cat Ballou.’”

Still, he said he felt a deeper connection to his bandmate because of this experience.

“That is another thing: when two people take it at the same time, words become redundant,” Harrison said. “One can see what the other is thinking. You look at each other and know.”

George Harrison later entered the film industry himself

Though Harrison did not like Cat Ballou, he was a film buff. After he funded Monty Python’s Life of Brian, he continued working in the film industry with his company, HandMade Films.

A black and white picture of George Harrison smiling.
George Harrison | PA Images via Getty Images

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“Neither of us had any previous thought of going into the movie business, though Denis [O’Brien] had a taste of it managing Peter Sellers and negotiating some of the later Pink Panthers films,” he told Film Comment in 1988. “It was a bit risky, I guess, totally stepping out of line for me, but as a big fan of Monty Python my main motive was to see the film get made.”

While HandMade helped produce a great deal of British comedies, the company eventually fell apart.