Goin’ South (6/1/12)

Goin' SouthMovie One Hundred Thirty Four

Goin’ South is a pseudo-Western about a fugitive that gets saved from the gallows by marrying a woman in town.

As Henry Moon (Jack Nicholson) is running from the law, he thinks that crossing the border to Mexico is going to save him. That is, until his pursuers cross the border right behind him and drag him back to the States. Moon finds himself in a small town in Texas where the sheriff (Christopher Lloyd) wants to see him hanged. Before he is about to be hanged, Moon finds out about an ordinance that allows a woman to save a man from his death for his hand in marriage. Moon winds up married to Julia Tate (Mary Steenburgen), who only wants Moon’s help mining, but their rocky relationship ends up turning into more than they expected.

Goin’ South is a weird movie. It’s part Western, part comedy, part romance, but even the comedy is uneven. Nicholson actually directed this too, but his best work is done in front of the camera (both here and in general). One thing that I found quite distracting his Nicholson’s speech in this. I couldn’t tell if his Texas accent is just weird sounding or if he spent the entire production doing cocaine. I would believe both.

There is a lot to like about Goin’ South, especially if you’re like me and love watching Nicholson on screen. While Nicholson’s role in this one is not one of my favorites it’s worthwhile. The best recommendation I could give for this would be as part of some amazing Nicholson marathon, which I think I should do sometime. Goin’ South is mostly forgettable but at times is genuinely funny and for the most part, is entertaining.

I give it 3 “How’s about a little desert?”s out of 5.


Rotten Tomatoes


15 responses to “Goin’ South (6/1/12)

  1. I was going to watch this about a year ago, but the movie poster has always looked creepy to me. Just by looking at the poster, I can guess he was using cocaine throughout the production. Now I’ll probably only watch it if I’m really bored.

  2. i am not a jack nicholson fan. i think he’s rather overrated as an actor because 95% of his roles are the same character, just a different name, setting, etc. he plays a scoundrel, and that’s about it. the only movie of his that i liked in which he was not a scoundrel was “ironweed,” and even there he was close to a scoundrel. even in “terms of endearment” he still played a scoundrel who happened to be a former astronaut too. not a scoundrel to the same degree as “cuckoo’s nest” of course, but still a part of the character.

    • Yeah, he does tend to play a scoundrel with varying degrees of likability. I wonder if it’s a matter of being typecast or his own personality coming through for the role…
      Either way, I am the same complaints you do about Johnny Depp so I can understand.

      • i think it’s partly typecast and partly a safe choice because he doesn’t really have to act. he just has to answer to a different name and dress differently than his real life.

  3. Not a Nicholson favorite for me either, though I thought he was the strongest part of the film too. I guess we can thank the movie for giving the big screen debut to John Belushi.

  4. hmmm thanks for writing this up. I saw this was streaming and I was wondering what it was all about and if it was worth checking out.

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