It was adapted by Walter Newman and Frank Pierson from the novel by Roy Chanslor. It was directed by Elliot Silverstein.
It won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Lee Marvin), and was nominated for Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment, Best Music, Song (Jerry Livingston and Mack David for The Ballad of Cat Ballou) and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.
The novel was originally a serious Western. It was turned into a comedy for the movie.