Johnny Cash Walks the Line
Walk the Line review
Director: James Mangold
Producers: Cathy Conrad, James Keach
Genre: Drama, Biography, Music
Running time: 2 hrs 16 mins
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
When it comes to films, I do like the biographical ones where you learn about a persons life. Everyone knows of Johnny Cash and his legendary music. And I would say a lot of people around the world can sing along to one or two of his songs. But what was he like as a man? What sort of family did he come from? This film explores Johnny's early years as a child and how his music career started. I was lucky enough to pick this up in a charity shop and am glad I bought it. I've been a fan of Johnny Cash and his music for a long time, but knew little about his life.
The film begins in Folsum Prison where he is giving a show to the prisoners. This was something I learned as I didn't know he sang there. From this introduction, we go back to his childhood where he lives on a cotton farm in Arkansas. He lives with his parents, Carrie and Ray, and brother Jack. When his older brother Jack died from a saw accident, this had a profound affect on the family. His relationship with his father was fraught and this is shown in the film. When he joins the Air Force, this is where he buys his first guitar and starts writing music.
On his return to the USA, he marries his first wife, Vivian. They have children and move to Memphis, Tennessee. To earn money he takes a job as a door-to-door salesman. One day he walks past a recording studio and this urges him on to get band together and start making music. Sam Phillips is the guy in charge of Sun Records. But things don't get off to a good start when he's not too keen on them singing Gospel music. But when they sing Folsum Prison Blues they get signed up.
This is really when his career takes off and they start becoming more well-known. With him and June Carter growing closer the film shows us the breakdown with his marriage to Vivian and his growing fondness towards June. The film is really a biography of his life in the 50's and 60's. But it also shows the struggling relationship with his father inparticular and also the problems his had with drink and drugs.
I found this an entertaining and enlightening film. Although I don't know about the actor who played Johnny Cash, I thought he played the part well. I like how he tried hard to sound like him when singing, and take off his mannerisms too. He portrayed Johnny very well, even when he was going through his drug problems. I like the connection he had with Reese Witherspoon, who played June Carter. I also learned a lot about the man himself. Although I know a lot about his musical career, I knew little about him as a person. This film was an eye opener for me in many ways. I didn't know, for instance, that he sang in a prison or the problems he had with his Father and his first wife. If you're a fan of Johnny Cash, then I would highly recommend this film. It's really worth it.
There's not really many DVD extras. But the special features are:-
- Audio commentary
- 10 deleted scenes
- Theatrical trailer
Walk the Line Official Trailer
Walk The Line DVD
© 2017 Louise Powles