Goin' South (1978)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Western  |  6 October 1978 (USA)
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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 ... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Morris ...
Gerald H. Reynolds ...
Polty, Rail Road Manager
George W. Smith ...
Maureen Byrnes ...


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. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Saved from the hangman, for a fate worse than death! See more »


Comedy | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Con el lazo al cuello  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jack Nicholson original want to direct and star in a traditional Western movie called "Moontrap". The only studio offer him a deal was United Artists, which volunteered US $2-3 million but only if Nicholson also would be in the film. But Nicholson didn't want to star in the movie. Nicholson insisted the picture was logistically too ambitious for him to divide his attention between acting and directing. His acting fee was over US $1 million per picture. He volunteered to play Webb the grizzled old goat and to cover himself in gray hair with a matted beard. But over the time George C. Scott, Lee Marvin, Marlon Brando, Jon Voight and Dennis Hopper were approached to play Webb. The movie had a screenplay by Alan Sharpe. So in the end Nicholson dropped the project and turned his attention instead to Goin' South (1978). Nicholson once said: "But I didn't want it to be ten years before I directed again [it had been about seven years since Nicholson had directed his last picture Drive, He Said (1971)]. I also had another acting job for Stanley Kubrick [in The Shining (1980)] coming up" so Nicholson decided to star in and direct Goin' South (1978). See more »


When the 'ordinance brides' come round for a chat, Julia offers them Lapsang Oolong. It should be either Lapsang Souchong or Oolong. See more »


Henry Moon: Hold on, Towfield, you're wrinklin' my good luck ban-dan-na.
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Crazy Credits

The Paramount logo plays in reverse. See more »


Referenced in Batman (1989) See more »


Available Space
Music by Ry Cooder (uncredited)
Performed by Ry Cooder
Courtesy Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Not a classic, but I've been repeating its lines for 25 years . . .
23 June 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The critics slammed this movie when it came out, as I recall. Exceedingly lofty expectations for Jack the director or something, I don't know. I just know that 25 years has made this movie better. I liked it from the start, and it seems that the rest of the world is coming around.

There are slow sections of this film, to be sure. But the great lines! "I wouldn't take you to a dog fight if you was the defendin' champion!" "We were just sayin' how much we needed a figurine." "Good mornin', ladies! I SHORE ENJOYED them CANNED APRICOTS LAST NIGHT!!!"

It bears up well to repeated watchings. What higher rating can a movie have?

24 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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