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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 <>

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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First film directed by Jack Nicholson in about seven years since Drive, He Said (1971) and the last for around twelve years until the Chinatown (1974) sequel The Two Jakes (1990), Nicholson's final directorial effort [to date, February 2015]. See more »


Moon is on the gallows to be hanged, but the gallows has a solid platform with no visible trap door. See more »


Henry Moon: I'll never forget you, Hermione. You was the first woman I didn't have to pay for.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Paramount logo plays in reverse. See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.10 (2003) See more »


Available Space
Music by Ry Cooder (uncredited)
Performed by Ry Cooder
Courtesy Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Nicholson Ego-Trip
7 September 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Many folks think Nicholson can do no wrong. But in my book, this mess has to be the nadir of his often outstanding career. When he's got a strong guiding hand, as in 5 Easy Pieces (1970) or Chinatown (1974), he can deliver aces. Here, however, he's directing himself, and the result is a leering, eye-rolling, slice of buffoonery, perhaps an ego-trip of some misguided sort. The movie itself collapses into near incoherence, lacking both narrative sense and timing. Events follow in no particular order, while scenes too often appear to indulge the actor instead of playing to others or advancing the story.

Actually, the movie reminds me perversely of a kids Saturday matinée, where the baddie schemes to grab the good girl's land and Gabby Hayes or Smiley Burnette supplies comic relief. Except here, there's only the buffoon, the land- grabber, and the good girl. I do, however, feel sorry for Mary Steenburgen whose affecting performance gets lost amid the eye-rolling antics. Now, I don't know if Nicholson went on a coke binge while shooting in Mexico, as did his buddy Dennis Hopper when he made the disastrous The Last Movie (1971) in Peru. But it would explain a lot. Anyway, the 100+ minutes remains an obscure mess, even 40-years later, and is not so much rollicking as just plain idiotic.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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