Moviedrome Mondays: Goin’ South (1978)

Since I could not find a youtube video link of Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox introducing director/star Jack Nicholson’s 1978 curio western comedy Goin’ South, readers will have to rely on a transcript of his introduction instead (read here). The episode’s original airdate was May 27, 1990 (read here). Goin’ South was Nicholson’s second film as a director – seven years after his previous film Drive, He Said and 12 years before The Two Jakes (a sequel to Chinatown). The third title was very good, but as with Drive, He Said, Goin’ South are little more than good. Make no mistake, this is not a bad film, but as a comedy, it is only half as funny as it should be and as a 70’s western, it lacks everything that made both The Hired Hand and The Missouri Breaks so poetic (like the former) or deeply fascinating (like the latter). I agree with everything Cox says about it, especially how it pales in comparison to the latter from two years earlier in 1976 (read here).

I can’t really seem to find a theatrical trailer to it so I am afraid you dear readers will have to read it’s wikipedia or watch youtube clips of it.


8 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Goin’ South (1978)

  1. I didn’t care much for that film. I have always had issues with Nicholson. Occasionally brilliant, often overacting to the level of irritation. He makes or breaks his films depending on how much he is allowed to get away with, it seems to me.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. I definitely concur with Pete’s opinion of Jack Nicholson. When it comes to westerns Goin’ South isn’t really to my taste, although it does have some great quotes, a fantastic score and a supporting cast to die for.

  3. I agree with Pete to some extinct (I like Nicholson better than he does but not as much as most people–Americans, at least). I agree with Paul about the dialogue and score.
    Like you, I liked this film quiet a lot, John, although I don’t care for his other directorial outings.

  4. I never have a problem with Nicholson, but I am aware that you do. While I may like this film a little more than you do, it is undoubtedly too imperfect of a film to be qualified as either very good or great. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  5. Goin’ South was interesting on the surface and entertaining in the center, but as a whole, it lacks everything that made The Hired Hand and The Missouri Breaks unique. Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  6. Dang! I figure I’ve seen most every Western from that era.Nobody can do slob like Nicholson. But I never saw this one … got lots of catching up to do.

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