Goin’ South (1978) Review

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**Review Taken From A Two Year Old Review From My First Rotten Tomatoes Account**

I had literally no hope for this film after reading the plot, but boy was I ever wrong.

Henry Moon is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico. He finds that there is a post-Civil War law in the small town that any single or widowed woman can save him from the gallows by marrying him. Julia Tate needs a man to help her work her mine and marries him. The sheriff makes it very clear to Moon what the consequences of his leaving Julia will be. The two begin to try to form a relationship based on necessity in which they have nothing in common.

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Jack Nicholson has been goofy before in many of his roles, but this one takes the cake. He portrays Henry Lloyd Moon, a horse thief who is trying to get out of being hanged by marrying anyone he could take. Personally, I think his best performance was a R.P. McMurphy, a loon who gets committed to a mental hospital, in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, but there isn’t any reason I can’t have another new favorite. Jack is just 100% believable in the role, really convincing me of the many struggles of his character. I like how he can be extremely serious in The Departed, but be an even mixture of gritty, funny, sweet, romantic, and brilliant here. It’s just mindblowing as to the method he went about with this film. Jack isn’t the only brilliant one out of the partly ensemble cast though. We also have Mary Steenburgen (in her very first major film role) as Julia Tate-Moon, Christopher Lloyd as Deputy Towfield, John Belushi as Deputy Hector, and a younger Danny DeVito as Hog, one of Moon’s old gang members. This may not be Belushi’s best role, which is Bluto, but him and Nicholson are definitely the most fun to watch, especially in the one scene where Jack dumped a bucket of horse piss onto Lloyd’s head.

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The script was neatly written and the story was quite fresh at the time. Plus the depth of the character development, the wonderful chemistry, and the believable romance between Jack and Mary, as well as funny dialogue, there is no way you could go wrong with this film!

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Aside from starring as Henry, Jack Nicholson also directed this, which wasn’t his first attempt at direction, that would be an old rare film by the name of Drive, He Said. Not the best direction effort, but it had just enough style and uniqueness to keep it from falling apart.

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If you like Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, and John Belushi, as well as romance films or romance-westerns, then this is the perfect film for you.

Rating: 9/10

Thanks For Reading!

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