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Johnny Cash Walks the Line

Updated on November 15, 2017
Joaquin Phoenix
Johnny Cash
Reese Witherspoon
June Carter
Ginnifer Goodwin
Vivian Cash
Robert Patrick
Ray Cash
Dallas Robert
Sam Phillips

Walk the Line review

Director: James Mangold

Producers: Cathy Conrad, James Keach

Genre: Drama, Biography, Music

Running time: 2 hrs 16 mins

Budget: $28,000,000

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.


My thoughts

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


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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 7 days ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great review! I remember hearing Johnny Cash songs playing on the AM radio as a child. His marital troubles were the headlines for pulp magazines of the era as was his scandalous relationship with a divorcee.

      I loved this movie, too, and thought the actors and actresses played their roles well. Loved Reese Witherspoon as June Carter Cash and Joaquin Phoenix did a great job playing the role of Johnny.

    • Claire-louise profile image

      Claire Raymond 6 weeks ago from UK

      I have seen this and even though I am not a big fan I was hooked!

    • PageBeard profile image

      Oliver Rifkind 7 weeks ago from Always Moving

      Joaquin Phoenix was outstanding in this. Also nice review!

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 2 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      It’s always my pleasure, my dear friend!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 2 months ago from Norfolk, England

      Ok, thankyou very much Tamara. =)

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 2 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      I have Twitter and just tried to Follow you, but I reached my limit today for People it says I can Follow. Maybe tomorrow. My Twitter name is @tamarayancosky

    • Rhyme Vine Poetry profile image

      Tamara Yancosky Moore 2 months ago from Uninhabited Regions

      I saw this movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you for your post!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 2 months ago from Ohio

      I agree, Walk the Line is an excellent movie. I enjoyed it greatly!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      You have to see the music video by Johnny Cash called “Hurt” if you’ve never done so. I’m writing a song list right now about songs of pain, suffering, and hurting. I put it in the top slot because it’s a masterpiece. Seeing his once beautiful house and museum (where the music video was filmed) in a state of such disrepair as his wife looked on, both of them old and just months before their deaths, was somber and deeply meaningful. He was a true legend. I’m gonna see that movie! Thanks for reviewing it!

    • profile image

      Pat Mills 2 months ago from East Chicago, Indiana

      If you have seen Ray or are interested in it, you'll see a few parallels between Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. Both are good biopics about legendary talents. I'm guessing the Folsom Prison live album wasn't as popular in England as it was stateside, but that introduced a younger generation to Cash, just as the American Recordings albums would years after that. Thanks for sharing.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 2 months ago from The Caribbean

      I like biographies too. One gets to see the journey from the start. Thanks for the review.