South of Heaven, West of Hell (film)

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South of Heaven, West of Hell
Directed byDwight Yoakam
Produced byTony Brown
Dov Cohen
Otto Felix
Janet Fox-Kaufler
Gray Frederickson
Oscar Gubernati
Dennis Hackin
Darris Hatch
Carl Maza
Buck Owens
Abe Shainberg
Josh Shainberg
Jim Smith
James Smythe
Auri Spigelman
Jack Wegh
Written byDwight Yoakam
Stan Bertheaud
Otto Felix
Dennis Hackin
StarringDwight Yoakam
Billy Bob Thornton
Vince Vaughn
Bridget Fonda
Peter Fonda
Paul Reubens
Bud Cort
Michael Jeter
Bo Hopkins
Luke Askew
Joe Ely
Music byDwight Yoakam
(Additional music by Jim Latham)
CinematographyJames Glennon
Edited byRobert A. Ferretti
Mike Murphy
Delta Deuce Films
Goldmount Pictures
Movie Mongrel
Trimark Pictures
Distributed byAugust Entertaintment
Blue steel Releasing
Geneon Entertainment
Jigsaw Entertainment
Phaedra Cinema
Release date
  • November 27, 2000 (2000-11-27)
Running time
132 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4,000,000 (estimated)[1]
Box office$28,149[2]

South of Heaven, West of Hell is a 2000 American Western film starring Dwight Yoakam, who also co-wrote, directed, and scored the movie.


Valentine Casey (Yoakam), a Marshal in the Arizona territory, receives a surprise visit from his outlaw adoptive father (Askew) on Christmas Eve 1907.



Shortly before production began, the financier backed out and Yoakam made the decision to finance the film on his own, partially through the sale of his home in Malibu.[3] His production company (A Cast of Strays) ultimately filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and several crew members registered complaints with unions and filed lawsuits in small claims court against the company. Yoakam said it was "the hardest experience I've ever gone through in my professional life in terms of executing art".[4] To help pay off the debt accrued while making the movie, Yoakam hired a cheaper backing band in 2002, which resulted in a falling out with his longtime producer, bandleader, and guitarist Pete Anderson.[5]


The film was a critical and box office failure. It grossed $28,140 domestically (on nine screens) on an estimated $4 million budget. The film received a 14% "rotten" rating by Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 3.5 out of 10. The film holds a 4.1 out of 10 rating at the Internet Movie Database. Robert Koehler of Variety said that the film "lacks the critical ingredients of shape, consistent tone, rhythm and economy that would make this truly old-fashioned oater into a lean, compelling adventure". He added that "there's no grace to the interplay of images and emotions. At every step, the filmmakers seem unable to pull off an exaggerated horse opera, and they never know when to pull the plug on scenes that are going nowhere".[6] Writing for Film Threat, Michael Dequina said in his review that "watching Yoakam’s like eating a shit sandwich. The title may be a cutesy joke describing someplace close to hell, but make no mistake—this film is hell."[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "South of Heaven, West of Hell". Box Office Mojo.
  3. ^ Collis, Clark (October 4, 2000). "A fistful of dollars". The Guardian. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Movie-Making Experience a "Little Bit of Hell" for Yoakam". CMT. August 8, 2003. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  5. ^ Baldwin, Brent (August 2, 2011). "For Pete's Sake". Style Weekly. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Koehler, Robert (December 18, 2000). "Review: 'South of Heaven, West of Hell'". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Dequina, Michael (December 26, 2000). "South of Heaven, West of Hell". Film Threat. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved April 3, 2016.

External links[edit]

[[[Category:Films set in 1907]]