The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 66, No. 6, Ed. 1, Friday, October 13, 1978 Page: 3 of 23
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Jack Nicholson's 'Goin South' headed for success
By L. MARK CUBSTEAD
Generally speaking "westerns" are at the bottom of
my going-to-sec list. Except for a few ("How The West
Was Won" "Butch Cassidy . . . " "Little Big Man").
I've always thought that westerns were always a little
too contrived. It takes a very talented screenwriter and
director to make me enjoy a western. "Coin South."
starring and directed by Jack Nicholson definitely
delivers the right formula.
"Coin South" tells the tall tale of Henry X. Moon a
horse thief (Jack Nicholson) who on the day of his
hanging is saved from the throes of death by Julia Tate
(Mary' Steenburgcn). an heiress who say she'll marry
him and in this way conform him. Marriage is the last
thing on her mind. She needs someone to work in her
inherited gold mine which has yet to yield anything.
He's a rough and hardened outlaw and she is a prudish
but swayable lady living in the West with visions of living
in Philadelphia. '.'.. . ' . '
It is really more love story than your average western
format usually offers. The story follows their lives for
several months with him for the most part desperately
trying to consumate the marriage. Before she knows it.
their differences don't matter anymore and they fall in
love. The film now showing at the Westgate l&ll (at a
ridiculous price of S3.50) is nothing serious but just a
big sprawling lighthcarted movfe with some suspense
and a happy ending. There are some crude moments but
they are at a minimum (where have I heard that
before?) But it's not likely to offend too many people.
Jack' Nicholson is great. He's' now at a level of
supcrstardom in which lie can do anything he wants.
He's truly one of the best actors we have around. With
such credits as "Easy Rider." "Carnal Knowledge."
"Chinatown." "Tommy" and "One Flew Over The
Cuckoo's Nest" (also showing in Abilene at the
Paramount) he actually holds "Hollywood" in his grip.
His cliaractcriatidn of Moon is a wacky uninhibited but
somewhat compassionate version of R.P. McMurphy in "
. . . Cuckoo's Nest". I can tell that he had a blast making
and being in this movie. Perhaps his next film will be a
drama in which he can display his acting talent in a
different light. '
His unknown co-star. Mary Steenbiirgen. is exquisite.
She's no striking beauty but she is definitely cute - and
looks like she'd belong in any western. She does a
wonderful job working against ' such an actor as
Nicholson. Her character is a lady in her late 20s on the
brink of becoming an old maid who gradually becomes
better looking as she falls deeper in love with Moon.
Hope to sec her in future motion pictures.
John Belushi ("Saturday Night Live." "Animal
House") has a bit part as a Chicano deputy who gives
Nicholson a hard time.
With the help of screenwriters John Herman Shaner
Al Ramrus Charles Shyer and Allen Mandel Nicholson
directs "Coin' South" superbly. One interesting thing
about his directing style is that his camera is constantly
moving - except for a few scenes in "close quarters."
There are also a lot of vignettes that don't pertain to the
story but do add to the general tone.
We've seen so often in the past few years where an
actor tries his hand as a director (Orson Welles Burt
Reynolds. .Warren Beatty and Ron Howard) and the
results are usually outstanding. I realize there's quite a
difference between Orson Welles and Ron Howard but
you know what I mean.
The movie takes place somewhere in Texas but was
filmed in Durango Mexico with a Mexican crew. The
photography is lush and gorgeous thanks to
cinematographer Nestof Almendros.
"Coin' South" delivers no illustrious message. It just
adds a large slice of slapstick and some warmth to events
and customs that most likely took place when the West
was young - and all thanks to superstar Jack Nicholson.
You may be interested to know of some coming
attractions that promise to be well worth catching. Most
of them sport a large big-name cast. Included are
"Superman" with Marlon Brandon and Christopher
Reeve: "Death on the Nile" the Agatha Christie Middle
Eastern mystery with Peter Ustinov and Bette Davis;and
Robert Allman's "A Wedding." Also coming are Woody
Allen's "Interiors" and "Midnight Express" about an
American youth in trouble in the Middle East.
How to prepare yourself for the Homecoming experience
By BOBBY STOKES
This is the "let's get ready for Homecoming" edition
of Soapbox a yearly tradition which I have just started.
It is designed to benefit any freshmen who slay in
Abilene for Homecoming weekend any sophomores
who went home last year for Homecoming weekend and
any transfers who don't realize what is going to be laid
upon them next weekend and any seniors who have to
meet their fiance's parents for the first lime next
First things first. Seniors this is going to 'be a
weekend you shall not soon forget because somewhere
in between showing those folks all the dumpy little
houses you have lived in and trying to decide whether
the change you dug out of your piggy bank will cover
the check at K-Bob's so you can impress her dad you
are' going to have to get to know those people and
probably explain (in detail) what you are going to do for
the next 30 years of your life.
You probably better go to chapel a lot this week.
Transfers sophs and fish: this could be one of the
most exciting limes of your lives (if you survive) or it
could be a weekend of frustration anxiety and worry
equalled only by the weekend of Sing Song and the
week of Lectureship which immediately follows it.
Here are some things you can expect to see.
Cars will stop at all the stopsignsand the drivers will
actually look both ways before proceeding. If you
happen to get stuck behind one of these cars just
remember that's the way you used to do it in driver's ed
Parents will give you the old "why this food isn't as
bad as you told us" routine in the Bean. Notice there
will be no chicken fried soybean or barbecued surprise
dishes on their plates.
Your roommate will probably get about six
shoeboxes full of food and your mom will bring you a
new tube of Crest. I had a roommate once whose mom
ran a health food store and we used lo steal his Granola
bars when he would go out on a date. Thanks Mablc.
Girls you may get asked out for a DATE.
Homecoming weekend is traditionally one of the
gotta-get-a-date weekends for most guys. Try to have a
good time at the football game and act like the mum
was a surprise.
Guys surprise your dale lo the football game with a
mum (note: give it to her before the game not after or
in (he middle). You might want to take her out to
dinner if the line in the Bean is too long. Try to have a
goood time. Sadie Hawkins is not very far away.
Remember Homecoming comes but once a year
and some of these people give a lot of spirit (S) to the
school so be patient and maybe someday you can come
back to ACU and say "I wish all these kids would quit
grabbing all the roast beef ahead of me. The way they
act you'd think they lived here."
Here are the winners in the Name the College
Contest: ".The Madelyn Murray O'Hair College of Bible"
(by Ray Ferguson junior) and "The Billy Sol Estes
College of Business" (by Shaun Casey senior). Prizes arc
in )he Optimist Office.
Letters to editor say thank you complain
Thanks for return of $100
I lost a SIOO bill three weeks ago this Thursday. I
searched frantically for it reported the loss to Dean
Beauchamp and he in turn notified the Campus Center
of the loss. After much searching on my part and
checking up on the loss by Dean B. I had just about
totally given up the thought of ever finding it. Let's face
it not many people would turn in that kind of money it
they found it - even though it would be the right thing
As you might guess I was pretty much upset with
myself. I had worked hard for the money and planned to
use it to buy clothes which I really needed.
I commute 50 miles to ACU (I'm from Sagerton
Tex.). The farming operation I'm involved in isn't
profitable at all at the present time so the money loss
put me in a bit of a financial bind.
One week later Dean Beauchamp came into my
intermediate accounting class with some good news. He
told me to run down to he first floor of the
Administration Building and look for Susan 'Dinkins.
He said she might have some info on the money. She did
. . . she found the S100 and rather than spending it on
herself as some people might do she reported it.
Just thought she deserved some recognition for her
honesty. You do not find many people with such good
qualities these days.
I can't tell you how grateful I was to get the cash
Journalistic effort lambasted
I can't believe you guys! You've really done it this
time. That last issue of yours really took the proverbial
cake. I mem. that rag w.is the most pagan piece of
yellow journalism I've ever seen. You guys better clean
up your act before the city editor in the sky revokes
your press passes.
For starters your story about the administration
cancelling the "Dogwood" concert was the work of a
left-wing conspiracy bent on destroying the doctrinal
purity of this sacred institution. You guys act like you
don't know the real reason (they) can't sing here. It's
because they probably read Mission.
Now about this bum Bumstead or Cubstead
whatever - he's a real yo-yo. Writing reviews about
pornographic and sacreligjous movies is all right for the
Repeater-News but not for your holy journal. For
instance "Heaven Can Wait" is the most unscriptural
film I've ever heard of fjiotice I said "heard of" you
don't think I'd go see it?). Any Bible major worth his
copy of the Wallacc-Rice debate can tell you that it
didn't present the biblical view of heaven much less the
correct view of hell.
And finally some of those ringers whose letters you
print are too much to believe. I can't believe John
Stevens reads all your copy and still lets all that stuff go
to print. Imagine someone knocking social clubs!
Where's the guy's sense of divine election'.'
The big trouble with all you guys up there on the
third floor is that you just don't have any good examples
of-a solid newspaper. Back at my high school Prairie
View AM&N Christian High school our paper was some
kind of paper. You might learn something from them
about the business Maybe you could get up a field trip
Come on guys drink some more coffee and get your
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 66, No. 6, Ed. 1, Friday, October 13, 1978, newspaper, October 13, 1978; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91944/m1/3/: accessed May 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.