Goin' South - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Goin' South Reviews

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December 7, 2015
Pretty funny and kinda different.
½ May 18, 2015
"Better blisters than neck burns."

'Goin' South' will possibly be most remembered as a good quiz question with 'Mary Steenbargen' and 'John Belushi' both having their film débuts here. Nicholson's second attempt at direction shows some good potential, 'Goin South' is a solid enough comedy western that becomes repetitive and a tad boring.

'Nicholson' takes the central role as 'Henry' an off-beat horse thief who has been sentenced to hang only to be saved throw a loop-hole law when 'Julia' agree to marry him. Which comes with the catch of him helping her dig on her property for gold, gold which she is convinced is their. It's quite a lax film things skate along and the jokes are immediately obviously jokes, it tries to blend them easily within conversation. With the odd one either sticking out or not working.

'Nicholson' does great service by using himself as an other wouldn't have made the grimy 'Henry' likeable or fun to watch. The same can be said of most of the cast actually. We know eventually these became household names in the 80s and their ability is on show early here too.

It's not all good it does meander a bit at times with atypical conversations and inevitabilities in terms of story. I think the biggest problem is I'm not entirely convinced this should be classed as a comedy as it's all very muted, not once did it muster a belly laugh or seem to be even intending that.

In the end 'Gouth South' feels safe, its a simple story told well enough and with a great cast. That's more or less the whole lot. Every so often something got a laugh and the mismatch pair make for a nice dynamic early on with their clashes but when things comes to an end and the dust settles it ends a note fitting of the film - ok without much inclination of where the characters are going - maybe Mexico.
½ September 21, 2014
An off-beat Western with more than it's share of character actors and a role that fits Nicholson like a glove.
June 1, 2014
Ha! Now thats a clasic.
December 18, 2013
Let's be clear: Goin' South is young Jack Nicholson's version of a Romantic Comedy, so you can imagine it's nothing like how the rest of us view a romantic comedy. I'm not saying the movie's bad, it's actually pretty good as a late '70s Western comedy, but it's a little strange. It's another vehicle for letting Nicholson act crazy, this time in the Old West, and that's cool because crazy is half the reason I watch a Nicholson movie. Throw John Belushi, Christopher Lloyd & Danny DeVito into the mix, and you got the makings of something funny.
But the problem I have is Goin' South isn't ha-ha funny or crazy zany. I get an actual story is being told, and that's fine, but the comic potential is so weighted down it's hard to fully get in to the movie. I wanted to see Nicholson, Lloyd and Belushi go over the top more than they did. Also, Mary Steenburgen is a fine actress. I really like her, but I didn't sense much chemistry between her and Nicholson. That makes sense in the beginning, but even in the end, I wasn't feeling much of a connection between the two.
So while the laughs and the romance might be underwhelming, Goin' South is still worth seeing just to appreciate watching this collection of actors, including Ed Begley Jr., in their primes working to make a good film.
Super Reviewer
½ October 15, 2013
This comedic western romance concerns a third rate criminal named Henry Moon, who, moments before he is to be hanged for horse thievery, is saved, thanks to a law in the backwater Texas town, allows for a woman to save a criminal from death, barring she agrees to marry him and take responsibility for his behavior.

And that's what happens: Julia Tate claims the grateful Moon who soon regrets the arrangement when it's revealed she only really wants to use him as manual labor for a gold mine she swears is on her property. Aside from that, Moon also has problems with the Sheriff. Not only does he not care for Moon to begin with, but he also feels like Moon took Julia away from him, viewing her as "his girl".

Featuring an all star cast, and directed by its star Jack Nicholson, this had potential to be an absolute riot. Unfortunately, while the film starts off strong, it devolves into an uninspired bore and never quite recovers. There are some good moments here and there, but there's not really enough to save this from being a generic "meh" kind of film.

This is a top notch cast who, besides Nicholson includes the likes of John Belushi and Mary Steenburgen in their film debuts, he as a deputy, she as Julia, and CHristopher Lloyd as the sheriff. There's also appearance by Ed Begley, Jr., Veronica Cartwright, and Danny DeVito.

Nicholson and Belushi really ham it up and appear to be having a lot of fun, but Lloyd, while okay, could have been even better. I like Mary Steenburgen alright, but she's not all that good hear. Granted, it is her first film, but still, she's kinda awful. At least we get a brief glimpse of her nipples through a wet shirt...

I really wanted to like this movie, and, even though I did enjoy it in parts, as a whole, it's a real disappointment. Unless you're a completist for anyone in the cast, I don't really recommend this.
September 8, 2013
Favorite Line: Jack ask Big Abe if he's hungry,Reply from Big Abe," I'm so hungry I could eat a Frozen Dog"
½ December 29, 2012
I think this movie is grossly under rated. I enjoyed this movie from beginning to end. I would like to see the audience percent of approval, at least surpass the 80% mark.......but I quess my taste in movie differs a lot from the mainstream.
I think " The Man who knew too Little" and "Rat Race" are a couple of the funnies movies ever, and I haven't seen them on any top 25 list. For Duster comedies, I find this, second only to Support Your Local Sheriff". "Cat Ballou" comes in 3rd.
October 10, 2012
Dicided to watch this as Jack Nickelson stars in it and also directs the film! Very low budget, with a great cast, surprisingly! The loveable rouge Jack seems to have a blocked up nose the whole way through but it's a story of love and fortune with the idiots added on for extra effect. If you don't mind washing away the odd 2hrs then watch, even if it's good to see jack looking so god dame young again!!!!
½ August 22, 2012
loved it. I laughed several times throughout this movie. Very good Nicholson.
½ August 1, 2012
Fun and playful. The package is tied a little too neatly in the end, but it was an enjoyable film nonetheless.
June 23, 2012
strangest western I've ever watched
½ June 10, 2012
Nicholson gets both behind and in front of the camera, yet fails to bring much life to this dour western.
½ June 8, 2012
Comedy and slapstick style western--Mediocre film, amazing Nicholson!!
½ May 12, 2012
I am shocked at the positive reviews for this movie. Despite Jack being, well... Jack, the MOVIE, which is what were supposed to review, is TERRIBLE. I literally did not even crack a smile through the entire thing. Sorry to those who liked it, and I can appreciate its cool factor for having early appearances of some future stars, but geez, this movie sucked. In my opinion, a complete waste of time. If you're into seeing stars in their early days, watch the first 20 minutes or so and then move on.
March 1, 2012
It's an alright movie, perhaps elevated by its (then unknowingly) stellar casting. If you're not a big Jack Nicholson fan, you may want to skip this one.
½ November 6, 2011
Jack Nicholson has always been a power house actor but I don't think the same can be say for his direction. It actually may be more of this project that he has taken on here that often feels like a western Taming of the Shrew. It's not a bad take on the theme but w/ the supporting cast involved (especially Christopher Lloyd, John Belushi, Danny Devito & Tracey Walter) this should have been a stand out piece. I love that they're in it but I feel this script really underutilized them. Instead it focuses on Nicolson & Steenburgen's love/hate relationship & I don't think she's strong enough to match Nicholson's acting chops. She's out of her league but the rest of the cast isn't & should have been giving the opportunity to match. Falls short but it is watchable & of interest mostly for those involved..& of course Nicholson is always dynamite
May 3, 2011
"Take it easy Towfield, you're a-wrinklin' my good luck bandana!" Bwah hah hah! Funny Nicholson flick with lots of good actors including Christopher Lloyd, John Belushi and Danny Devito.
May 1, 2011
has some chemistry, but drags on
March 24, 2011
Directed by Jack Nicholson, who at the time of release, was maybe one of the biggest movie stars in the world. This was a small, personal film for him, a light hearted western comedy which could have seen Nicholson become an actor/director like Clint Eastwood. Instead it was a flop, and Nicholson rarely went behind the camera since, pity really. It has Nicholson as outlaw Henry Lloyd Moon, who is captured and sentenced to be hanged for bank robbery and the theft of horses and cattle. At his hanging, he pleads for a second chance, claiming he was a Civil War hero, and he is spared from hanging by Julia Tate (Mary Steenburgen, in her film debut), who says she'll marry him, when in actual fact, she needs him to work in a gold mine which is on her land. Set free, Henry goes to work with Julia, though he's not allowed to drink or cause trouble, Deputy Sheriff Towfield (Christopher Lloyd) and Deputy Hector (John Belushi) have a watchful eye on Henry. Also, Julia is a prudish virgin, who ignores Henry's boorish behaviour, while the search for gold seems hopeless, as it's the only hope Julia has of keeping her home and land. It does have some funny moments, and Nicholson does well as actor/director, it does tend to drag. Though it does have support from Danny DeVito, Veronica Cartwright and Ed Begley Jr., the whole enterprise feels a bit smug.
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