Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the Sheriff, the bank, and each other.
Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.
Texas, shortly after the Civil War. Henry Moon is an outlaw, on the run from the law. He is captured trying to escape to Mexico and taken back to town to be hanged. The town has a special law that a condemned man can walk free if one of the single women of the town offer to marry him. Henry is in luck - at the last moment Julia Tate offers to marry him, and pretty soon they are married. However, Henry soon discovers that Julia's motives are purely business-orientated - she needs someone to work the mine on her property. This makes for a very cold marriage.Written by
Fun Western comedy about an outlaw gunslinger saved from the gallows by a spinster
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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