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Goin’ South with Jack Nicholson

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Henry Lloyd Moon, he plays. Man, I’ve never seen Jack Nicholson so charming. And now I know why they picked Mary Steenbergen for Back to the Future.

Happened to stumble on a biography of Jack Nicholson during a down time on my last trip to Chicago. Mentioned all his movies–had never heard of this one, Goin’ South, but it sounded like it might be good. Though they didn’t go into details of what it was about, they said it was unique and fun. Imagine how surprised I was to find it on the library shelf…with Jack’s animated face on the cover, devilishly daring me to watch it.

Well, suffice it to say, it’s a western–with a one-of-a-kind Nicholson touch (I’ve decided I’m in love with the guy). I love his western-hill-folk accent and, of course, his slightly crazy eyes and enticing smile. A couple of other great stars playing along–John Belushi, Christopher Lloyd–make great companion characters.

Jack’s a criminal about to get hanged. The town has a law that says if a woman will take a condemned man and marry him, he’ll be spared the gallows. Ohmygod, that whole scene is hilarious. And then the scene where Jack shoots up the stagecoach his erstwhile wife Julia (Steenbergen) is running away on—very entertaining.

Jack forces Julia to “git off” the coach and tells the driver to go along. The sheriff, ridin’ shotgun on the coach, says “we don’t desert our women out here.” Julia says, “it’s alright sheriff. He’s just tryin’ to impress me.”

You know, now that I think about it, I guess it’s a plain and simple adorable love story with western trappin’s. I’d say, go git it sometime.

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  • And I thought I was the only Nicholson fan who liked this movie! Barbara, check out The Missouri Breaks, if you haven’t already seen it – another Nicholson western, this time with Marlon Brando doing his usual eccentric turn. Darker in tone, but it does have its moments. It was pretty much panned by the critics, but I caught it again on TV a few weeks ago, and I think it’s under-rated.

  • Saw a snippet or two of that one in the TV bio, too, but Brando looked so morose (and I’d just seen him in the classic “Stella-a-a-a!” scene, that I just wasnt’ in the mood. Maybe a while after I’ve seen “On the Waterfront” (one my latest Netflix movies just sitting there ‘cuz I haven’t had time), I won’t mind seeing him depressed again. But I can only imagine the power on the screen of those two together. Thanks for the tip!