13 November 2013 | ma-cortes
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 .