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Goin' South
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Reviews & Ratings for
Goin' South More at IMDbPro »

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22 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Not a classic, but I've been repeating its lines for 25 years . . .

8/10
Author: bbbaldie from United States
23 June 2003

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?

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Deserved more praise than it got.

7/10
Author: gottogorunning from United States
17 August 2005

I saw it when it first came out in the 1970's and thought it deserved more praise than it got. It is mostly an entertainment comedy with such lines as "You weren't that hard to find. You were standing in the middle of town with a rope around your neck." I read someplace where Mary Steenburgen had been working as a waitress in an Arizona dinner and Nicholson stopped in and thought she would be perfect for the part. I think there is some very touching scenes between Nicholson and Steenburgen that are well written and acted. Except for Christopher Lloyd the rest of the cast is wasted. I think the only reason John Belushi is in the movie is because Nicholson wanted to meet him. At that time Saturday Night Live was considered radical chic.

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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

betcha most viewers'll like it

9/10
Author: KDWms from Pocono Summit, PA
22 October 2003

If you realize that a movie critique represents an INDIVIDUAL'S opinion which may be very different from your own, you probably also don't take these comments too seriously. But - for what it's worth - here's mine re: Goin' South: I found it very entertaining (and I'm probably fussier than most when it comes to movies). That's what I value most in a film: entertainment. Any negative comments about this flick come from the more erudite crowd which knows or looks deeper for such things. I was even able to get past Nicholson's character's need for a good nose-blowin', which usually really bothers me, but, in this case, I found it utterly hilarious. We're gonna leave out recapping the plot - THAT'S pretty well taken care of not too far from here. But I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to write something good about this picture because I think that it richly deserves it.

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10 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

What's the fascination with the city of Motherly Love?

7/10
Author: PeteG from Tallahassee, FL
6 June 2005

My late father and I always referred to this as the movie we "accidentally" watched on HBO late one night. We were hooked when the posse rode right across the Rio Grande into Mexico and "Ol' Speed" fainted! For the rest of his life he always greeted me in the morning with "Good mornin' Spot!" In much the same vein as another of his favorites (Evil Roy Slade), it is difficult to find two lines together from this movie that can be taken seriously ("Please wipe your feet." . . "I always do!")("I'll be outside running a reference test." . . "Why don't you run one on your skull while you're at it?"). I have watched my home-recorded VHS upwards of 25-30 times and now that the DVD has been released, I look forward to adding it to my collection once again because . . . . "I can do this all day long! I'm talking about . . All Day Long!" Give it a spin and give it a chance.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fun Western comedy about an outlaw gunslinger saved from the gallows by a spinster

6/10
Author: ma-cortes from Santander Spain
13 November 2013

Henry Moon (Jack Nicholson) is captured for a capital offense by a posse when his horse quits while trying to escape to Mexico . Henry saving himself from lynching by marrying a spinster (Mary Steenburgen , though Meryl Streep and Jessica Lange considered the role) . Moon/Nicholson saved from the hangman , for a fate worse than death . There , then appears his refreshingly offbeat Old Gang (Veronica Cartwright , Tracey Walter , Jeff Morris and Danny DeVito)

This Western comedy contains laughters , action , shootouts , brawls and amusement . Lots of attempts at comedy but it falls flat . Entertaining and funny Western , not for all tastes , with touches of humor here and there . Overacting by Jack Nicholson at an outlandish character attempting to like , including jokes and silly laughs , but only a few work . Feature film debut for Mary Steenburgen , whose role Jane Fonda and Anne Bancroft turned down ; furthermore , a small role for John Belushi as a gunfighter Deputy . Very good support cast such as Christopher Lloyd as Deputy Towfield , Veronica Cartwright as Hermine , Richard Bradford as Sheriff Andrew , Jeff Morris as Abe, Moon's Old Gang , Danny DeVito as Hog , Ed Begley Jr as Haber , Anne Ramsey as Spinster , Tracey Walter as Coogan and Luana Anders as Lorette Anderson. Colorful as well as evocative cinematography by the great Spanish cameraman Nestor Almendros .

The motion picture was middlingly directed by Jack Nicholson , though the studio originally intended for Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen to star in the film, with Mike Nichols directing . However , Nicholson didn't want to star in the film , he insisted the movie was logistically too ambitious for him to divide his attention between acting and directing . Nicholson had previously directed his first film in 1971 titled ¨Drive he said¨ played by his friends Bruce Dern and Karen Black ; he subsequently co-produced and semi-directed with Monte Hellman two strange Westerns titled ¨The shooting ¨and ¨Ride in the whirlwind¨ ; after that , he played ¨Missouri¨ another Western directed by Arthur Penn with Marlon Brando . Nicholson's final filmmaking was ¨The two Jakes¨ .¨Goin' South" rating : Mediocre but entertaining . The picture will appeal to Jack Nicholson hardcore fans .

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

A gem

Author: bill johnson
6 November 2001

This movie is one of my all time favorites. I saw it when it first came out in the 1970's and thought it deserved more praise than it got. It is mostly an entertainment comedy with such lines as "You weren't that hard to find. You were standing in the middle of town with a rope around your neck." I read someplace where Mary Steenburgen had been working as a waitress in an Arizona dinner and Nicholson stopped in and thought she would be perfect for the part. I think there is some very touching scenes between Nicholson and Steenburgen that are well written and acted. Except for Christopher Lloyd the rest of the cast is wasted. I think the only reason John Belushi is in the movie is because Nicholson wanted to meet him. At that time Saturday Night Live was considered radical chic.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Rare Movie That Deserves Seeing Again and Again !

10/10
Author: cooper3121 from United States
20 August 2005

I rarely see the same movie more than once. Although I love movies, repeated viewings tend to be tedious and boring. Not so this wonderful picture which was Jack Nicholson's directing debut. I watch Going' South over and over and find something new each time. I believe that is one mark of a well-made and well-written movie.

From the opening scenes with Moon's horse keeling over as he dances celebrating his "get away" to the tender moments between Moon and Julia after they divide up the gold, I find this movie gives and keeps on giving.

Henry Moon's lines are hilarious and delivered only as Jack can do. Mary Steenburgen delivers a performance as good as any first time to the screen and the other characters are played wonderfully by current and soon-to-be stars of TV and cinema.

I love turning people on to this movie. I never get tired of watching it-I bet you won't either!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

One of my favorites!

10/10
Author: Tommy Phillips from Bridgeport, WV
8 June 1999

I have always loved this movie, me and my family first saw it together when I was 5 years old. I loved it then but didn't understand it. Now I'm 18. This movie is directed by Jack Nicholson, he puts together a very good cast including John Belushi, Christopher Loyd, Danny Devito, and Mary Steenburgen in her first movie. He plays a wonderful,funny part in this movie as an outlaw that is saved from the gallows from a very pretty woman named Julia, she and him don't get along at first, they have nothing in common then they learn how to get along by a strange coincidence. One of my top five Jack Nicholson films one for the family and everyone!

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A Treasure Chest Of Movie Quotes.

10/10
Author: rjpseal from United States
7 May 2010

This is one of the best movies nobody has seen. I am constantly astounded when I talk to movie lovers, and even Nicholson fans and they've never heard of this movie.

Two of the funniest scenes I've ever seen are both in this movie. The first in the opening scene while Moon is celebrating his escape into "Me-Hee-Ko" The second is his impending doom at the gallows, salvation, then return to doom. Also, some of the most outrageous, hilarious quotes you'd ever want to hear make this film worth watching over and over.

And the supporting cast is unbelievable. John Belushi, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Ed Begley Jr.

My favorite movie line of all time comes from Moon. When Big Abe, Hermine, and Hog show up uninvited at Moon's new home, Big Abe says "I'm so hungry I could eat a froze dog." Abe's face falls when Moon says "Well, I'll go out to the kitchen and see if we got one already froze." I would recommend this movie to anyone. You don't have to be a Nicholson fan, a Western fan, or a comedy fan.

I've never met anyone, few though they may be, who watched this film and didn't love it.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A fairly mediocre comedy western

5/10
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
14 January 2014

Going' South is probably most famous as being a film directed by Jack Nicholson. It's a western about an outlaw called Henry Moon who is saved from execution by a sexually repressed woman who owns a gold mine. To his chagrin she immediately sets him to work there, needless to say they don't get along at first but then they do later on.

This is essentially an odd couple film. It plays things consistently for laughs but like the majority of comedy westerns it really isn't too funny. Nicholson may be a great actor but he isn't a very good director. The pacing lags badly in the second half but the story isn't terribly engaging overall. It also stars a host of actors who would go on to become stars in the 80's such as Danny Devito, John Belushi and Christopher Lloyd. But despite the potential that this cast suggests, most have very under-developed roles and it feels suspiciously like Nicholson invited them along just so that he could have a laugh on set. The western itself was in decline by the late 70's in any case and Going' South didn't bring anything new to the table to help change that. It's a film that seems to have a minor cult reputation but I didn't think it was too good and it's certainly one of Nicholson's lesser film outings.

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