Goin’ South (1978)
“I ain’t no slab of meat to be auctioned off — but what the hell!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Response to Peary’s Review:
The bulk of the story centers on the developing romance between “the animated, bearded Nicholson” (who basically plays a variation on his “crazed iconoclast” archetype) and “stiff, reticent Steenburgen” (who’s both charming and coy in her screen debut) — but we aren’t given enough information about Steenburgen’s background (why is she so eager to move to Philadelphia with her newfound wealth?), and there are some disturbing hints of rape-like encounters between the two individuals, thus marring their development into what Peary labels “a likable couple”. In addition, a cast of soon-to-be big names (including John Belushi, Danny De Vito, and Christopher Lloyd) are given far too little screentime or character development.
Lloyd’s would-be rivalry for Steenburgen simply fizzles away, while Belushi and De Vito are relegated to roles as small-time accomplices. With that said, Goin’ South does possess some clever comedic dialogue (“I’ll never forget you, Hermine — you was the first woman I didn’t have to pay for”), and the film as a whole is bolstered by Nestor Almendros’ typically stellar cinematography.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: