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JACK NICHOLSON 'GOIN' SOUTH' W/ DANNY DEVITO 'GOING APE'

Lobby Card w/ Jack Nicholson & John Belushi YEAR: 1978
Jack Nicholson channelling Strother Martin while giving his CUCKOO'S NEST fans the eyebrow-raised crazy-fun guy in a Comedy/Western that Jack himself directed about a scruffy outlaw who, to avoid being hanged, marries a classy gal with plenty of heart and even more gold.

Quirky ingenue Mary Steenburgen begins her career as June Tate, using new husband, Nicholson's Henry Moon, for menial chores...

Putting him through a sort of honeymoon boot camp wherein they eventually, inevitably, predictably fall for each other. "Women love outlaws like little boys love stray puppies," he grins mischievously in this decent time-filler (think of Nicholson's 1976 Western misfire THE MISSOURI BREAKS with a slightly tighter aim) that works until the last half-hour, when Henry's foes return to steal the gold...

John Belushi, Jack Nicholson and Christopher Lloyd SCORE: ***
At this point, Jack the director, in giving the audience what they anticipated from the genre, rushes the 11th hour action. But the opposites-attract romance between the lady and the tramp is what made the story work in the first place...

Meanwhile, John Belushi (the same year as his game-changing, scene-stealing role in NATIONAL LAMPOON'S ANIMAL HOUSE) has a glorified cameo as lawman Christopher Lloyd's screaming Mexican bandito/sidekick; and Lloyd had played one of Jack's CUCKOO'S NEST cohorts, as did Moon's fellow outlaw, Danny Devito, who'd soon to be infamously GOING APE. But as for GOIN' SOUTH, try to imagine all the partying on and off set. For a much crazier, wilder rider, perhaps the cameras should have turned to the actors instead of characters. Is there a documentary out there, anywhere?

Year of Release: 1981
GOING APE!: Not only is this an awful movie, as one would expect from the title and premise, it's sluggish and uncomfortable...

Dully attempting to ride the simian coattails of the popular Clint Eastwood ANY WHICH WAY flicks, we have pointless bachelor Tony Danza inheriting three orangutans from his deceased father, a once great, highly successful circus performer: If Danza keeps the frolicking, troublesome trio in his apartment for over a year, he gets a million dollars. Meanwhile, thugs want him to fail, and attempt killing the banana-eating three stooges, who almost have a speck of potential...

But they're merely background to the lame thug antics and a myriad of uninteresting and unfunny side-characters including Danza's fellow TAXI star Danny DeVito as a carny named "Lazlo," helping his friend maintain along with HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH ingenue Stacey Nelkin as Danza's flustered girlfriend, and her high-strung mother, Jessica Walter, who, along with everyone else, must have lost a bet to appear in this turkey.
Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen and Danny DeVito in GOIN' SOUTH
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