‘Walk the Line’: How James Mangold Uncovered the Emotional History of Johnny Cash


By Koraljka Suton


He had to find the range of his own creativity, and learn how to control this river of darkness that he had been riding, and corral it in some way… Everyone thinks he was born ‘the Man in Black,’ but in a way, the identity that developed of this ‘Man in Black,’ as much as it was something highly marketable and a clever turn of phrase and a great wardrobe, it was also a way of taking control and owning himself, and making it something he was in charge of as opposed to something that was running him.James Mangold

When it comes to movie genres, it could easily be said that American director James Mangold never had a bias towards one. Whether it be drama films (Heavy and Girl, Interrupted), neo-noirs (Cop Land), romantic comedies (Kate and Leopold), psychological slashers (Identity), Western re-makes (3:10 to Yuma), action comedies (Knight and Day) or superhero movies (Wolverine and Logan, with the latter earning him an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay), the core that permeates his filmmaking tendencies has always been the exploration of that which defines us as human beings—relationships. It should come as no surprise then that one such director who refuses to restrict himself genre-wise would gladly venture a try at a music biopic, and one that depicts the highs, lows, loves and losses of none other than America’s beloved Man in Black. As is the case with his other films, Mangold’s choice of genre refuses to be self-serving, but rather becomes an amazing vehicle for the biopic’s tropes and characteristics to fulfill the purpose of beautifully, skillfully and authentically depicting the emotional development of what would eventually become a life-long romantic partnership. Later on, the director would use the experience that working on Walk the Line provided him with to take a deep dive into the world of car racing and yet again tackle the challenge of bringing a true story to the big screen, in this year’s critically acclaimed sports drama Ford v Ferrari starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale. When asked by CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg about his approach to the biopic genre in particular, Mangold said: “The approach is you try and do everything as it happened with the limit that you can’t be boring. So, if it actually took three hours for something to happen, I’m not going to make the audience sit for three hours and watch a couple of guys waiting in a waiting room. There’s a level where I’m responsible to the audience to deliver an entertainment.”

And what Mangold delivered with Walk the Line was precisely that—a story rooted in facts, but structured and presented in such a way that the end result managed to be highly entertaining and emotionally impactful at the same time. In other words, he achieved what he had strived to do, which was to create “an emotional history,” as he called it, a sensory experience one could not get from written sources focused solely on facts, numbers and dates. But as it turned out, said emotional history was something that first needed to be uncovered so as to be portrayed, and when it came to the story of the legendary Johnny Cash, Mangold was more than willing to pick up the metaphorical shovel and rummage around in the dirt. Still, it took quite some time before he could even begin doing so, seeing as how the movie rights did not belong to him. The story goes as follows: back in 1993, Cash was a guest star on the popular TV show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and he, along with his wife June Carter Cash, subsequently became good friends with actress Jane Seymour, the show’s lead, as well as her husband James Keach who directed that very episode. In the mid-90s, Cash himself asked Keach if he would be willing to make a film based on his life, which the director gladly agreed to. Keach and Seymour visited the Cash’s at their family home and started doing a series of interviews that would become the basis for a 1997 script written by Gill Dennis. Unfortunately, Hollywood was not buying what they were selling. In 1999, with still no buyers in sight, Keach decided to reach out to Mangold, as the latter had been trying to get involved in the project for the past two years, calling Keach every so often and asking him if he could direct it.

Although very enthusiastic about the prospect of finally getting to make a Johnny Cash biopic, Mangold was not a big fan of the script, proclaiming it “very soft” and severely lacking in the love story department, with the emphasis being put on Cash as a music icon instead. Together with his then-wife, producer Cathy Konrad, Mangold met up with the Cashes with the intention of getting more insight into their intriguing history so as to revise the script, which was also based on two optioned autobiographies: Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words (1975) and Cash: The Autobiography (1997). Although Mangold and Konrad were nowhere near satisfied with the romance aspect of the story they had structured, by 2001 they had a solid enough screenplay, so they tried selling it to a studio. And yet again, it seemed as if there were no buyers: Sony, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Universal and Focus Features all declined. But lucky for them, Fox agreed to do it. Despite being happy that their passion-project had finally been greenlit, the duo still felt that a crucial part of the story was missing, namely the courtship between Cash and Carter which had been denied in both the autobiographies and the interviews that served as the basis for the script. But without the crucial piece of information about how their romantic relationship came to be during the period the two singers toured together while Cash’s wife and children waited at home, the emotional truth of the story remained absent and the screenplay less than it could be.

In Walk the Line, we are introduced to J.R. Johnny Cash as a 12-year-old-boy raised on a cotton farm, who discovers his love of music through singing hymns with his mother. A tragedy that claims the life of his older brother leaves him emotionally wounded and haunts him for the remainder of his days. We follow Johnny from his years in the military all the way to his first record deal and subsequent stardom. While on tour with Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and June Carter, he struggles with his feelings for the latter due to him being married with children. Affairs with groupies, severe alcohol and drug abuse and a series of unresolved emotional issues set the iconic singer-songwriter on a downward spiral only one person, as it turned out, could save him from. And that person was June.

“It’s not romantic enough. June agrees with me” was what Johnny Cash told Mangold over the phone at some point during pre-production. “Well, of course it’s not, John, because you guys aren’t telling me anything about your courtship because you were married to other people and you don’t want to talk about what happened between you” was the director’s reply. Cash called Mangold back a week later and invited him over. It was then that the married couple admitted to their Las Vegas-affair, which would ultimately become the long-anticipated plot point of Walk the Line, upping the emotional stakes and proving itself to be a point of no return if there ever was one. Ultimately, by being willing to get his hands dirty so as to excavate an emotional truth he was so eager to find and portray, Mangold managed to uncover a factual truth that was buried so very deep, that it spent decades being denied, rejected and disowned by those it belonged to. By finally being willing to admit to that which they had previously vehemently rebuffed, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash not only gave Mangold a chance to depict their relationship authentically and truthfully, but also owned up to and reclaimed their life-altering love story and its inception.

And what Mangold did was treat it with the utmost care and sensitivity. There are no “bad guys” and “good guys” in Walk the Line, just as there were no bad guys or good guys in Johnny Cash’s life (Johnny included)—only people who learned about themselves by making decisions that more often than not ended up hurting those nearest to them. It is the story of a deeply hurt and lonely man whose personality was formed around a severe childhood trauma that involved the loss of a loved one, implying that his innocence was taken from him far too early. In Walk the Line, Mangold does not point a judgmental finger at the people who contributed to the singer’s misery somewhere down the line—such as his alcoholic father who treated him poorly or his first wife who wanted things from him he could not give her—which is exactly how Cash wanted it, well aware of the fact that his mistakes and downfalls were his and his alone. Probably the best testament to how Cash perceived himself is the fact that James Whale’s Frankenstein was his favorite movie, “because it’s about a man made up of all these bad parts and yet he still tries to do something decent and be someone decent.” Cash indeed put both himself and his loved ones through a rough drug and alcohol-induced ride caused by the unresolved emotional dead weight he had been carrying around with him for years. Yet, his experiences, both good and bad, not only influenced his music, but were, in fact, the main driving force behind it. And Walk the Line captures that perfectly, portraying Cash as a sensitive individual whose felt perception of the world naturally led to him transforming that which he had sensed and experienced into powerful words and sounds. To quote Mangold: “No one sits down and says that they’re going to be a great songwriter. They just find their soul. They connect to it and they say someone hear me. To make a movie about him in which I didn’t show that his success and artistic achievement was in some way greatly based by the participation of others would be a lie. I really don’t believe anyone has an issue making biopic movies. I do think they have a problem making movies about human beings. I had everyone pass on this film. Movies about people are very rare these days.”

The very format of the music biopic enabled Mangold to tell the story of one man’s becoming, with music being used as a powerful narrative tool that communicates emotion, perception and transition. The songs played in Walk the Line were not chosen at random and inserted into the movie just so as to pay homage to a music legend and his artistic achievements. Quite the contrary, every song we hear and every performance we witness are completely character-motivated, flawlessly capturing the extent to which Cash’s music was both a reflection and an extension of the life he lived. In short, it captured the essence of what art truly is. What greatly contributed to this raw and authentic approach was surely the choice of leading man, as well as the decision that he should sing everything himself. “You’re not Johnny Cash and you’re not going to be Johnny Cash. It’s your interpretation that I want to capture. If people want to hear Johnny Cash, he’s made a couple of records,” the director had told the actor he entrusted the role with.

Joaquin Phoenix had actually met the singer six months before Mangold even contacted him about stepping into Cash’s shoes. Having heard that the actor was in Los Angeles, Cash, being a fan of Phoenix’s performance in Gladiator, invited him for dinner through a mutual friend. After being honored by a Cash-Carter mini-concert in their living room and feeling as if he had just been privy to an incredibly vulnerable moment between two lovers, Phoenix had to leave due to a previously scheduled business meeting. Cash walked him to the door and expressed his appreciation for what the actor had done in Gladiator, and proceeded to quote his favorite part of the film, the line Phoenix’s character Commodus utters to Russell Crowe’s protagonist Maximus: “Your son squealed like a girl when they nailed him to the cross and your wife moaned like a whore when they ravaged her again and again and again.” At first completely floored by the fact that the man who had sung so lovingly with his wife mere moments ago was the same person who had just gleefully quoted such a disturbing movie scene, Phoenix came to the realization later on that he got the opportunity to witness two sides of Johnny Cash. The fact that the singer did not hide it, but rather honestly showcased the polarity within, helped the actor during his role preparation more than anything he had read in the script. As Mangold put it: “John himself was an artist of the shadows, and John himself wrote very boldly about darkness.”

Phoenix got the screenplay for Walk the Line on a Friday in 2001. It is said that he called Mangold the following Monday and asked what his course of action should be if he wanted to play the part. The director told him to buy a guitar, with the actor duly obliging the very next day and practicing diligently for the next three years. Together with his co-star Reese Witherspoon (who learned to play the autoharp from scratch), Phoenix underwent extensive vocal training with music producer T Bone Burnett six months before principal photography began. Even after all those months of singing lessons, the actor’s voice was allegedly still too high, which disabled him from singing the songs in their original key. As a result, the band had to learn every song in a higher key. But Phoenix’s voice unexpectedly dropped before filming started, so the band had to re-learn everything as it was originally written. What Phoenix managed to achieve in those six months was next to a miracle, nailing down Cash’s vocal color, as well as his mannerisms and stage presence to such an extent that even the singer’s hardcore fan, the late movie critic Roger Ebert, was sure it was Cash’s voice he was hearing, only to be utterly surprised upon seeing Phoenix’s name in the closing credits. Mangold was right—no one but Johnny Cash could possibly do Johnny Cash. But Joaquin Phoenix sure as hell came uncannily close to it. Apart from masterfully channeling the Man in Black, the actor did not shy away from improvisation when he felt the moment demanded it. The scene in which Cash pulls a sink out of a wall was not in fact scripted, and the same goes for the uncomfortable lingering stare Cash gives June during their performance of “I Got Stripes.” When giving the actor direction, Mangold told Phoenix that he should just do what he would personally do if he had had a fight with his girlfriend and then had to perform with her in front of a live audience. Phoenix obliged and kicked off the staring contest, but Witherspoon’s reaction was not at all what he was looking for—she simply rolled her eyes and continued with the song, whereas Phoenix’s aim was to make her feel as uncomfortable as he possibly could. But Witherspoon’s unexpected response turned that scene into quite a gem, and one that would have been only half as humorous and authentic had it been planned out beforehand.

Incidentally, this little anecdote perfectly captures the essence of Phoenix and Witherspoon’s acting partnership that required them not only to trust, but also completely rely on one another. It could, therefore, come as a surprise that their relationship was actually pretty tense during the six months they had spent in vocal training, because the prospect of having to sing made both of them extremely nervous. But all of that changed once filming started and the two formed such a bond that they even made a secret pact—if one of them was to quit the movie, the other would follow suit. Lucky for Mangold and for us, that was a bridge that never had to be crossed. Phoenix and Witherspoon’s performances earned them both Academy Award nominations, with Witherspoon rightfully taking home the award for Best Actress (Phoenix lost to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman and his fantastic portrayal of Truman Capote in Capote). Her reverence for and understanding of June Carter radiates throughout her performance, as she skillfully juggles between her on-stage persona who uses her humor and quirkiness to compensate for what she had been taught to believe was an inadequate vocal ability and her private self which is head-strong and decisive, yet empathetic and understanding at the same time. Witherspoon believed June Carter Cash to have been a woman way ahead of her time, leading her life the way she wanted to, despite acts such as divorce, touring alone with male musicians and having children fathered by different men being seen as unacceptable and reproachful in the 1950s.

Walk the Line received three more Academy Award nominations—for Best Costume Design (Arianne Phillips), Best Film Editing (Michael McCusker) and Best Sound Mixing (Doug Hemphill, Peter Kurland, Paul Massey)—and won three Golden Globes (Phoenix, Witherspoon and Best Motion Picture—Musical or Comedy). The reception was overwhelmingly positive, but there were some people who could not quite stomach Mangold’s homage to the adored singer-songwriter. Cash’s second-oldest daughter with his first wife reportedly walked out of a family screening of the movie not once, but five times, claiming that her mother was not cast in a flattering light and protesting the lack of scenes between her father and his children. His eldest daughter Rosanne took it one step further and compared watching the movie to “having a root canal without anesthetic.” But their half-brother John Carter Cash, who worked as an executive producer on the film, simply responded by stating that Walk the Line was first and foremost—his parents’ love story. June Carter Cash passed away two weeks after having disclosed the information about their Las Vegas rendezvous to the director and Johnny Cash followed four months later. Although they never got a chance to see the finished film, it could be deemed rather poetic that one of the final verses they gave to the world was the truth about who they were and what they did, without which their love story would not and could not have been done justice.

Koraljka Suton is a member of the Croatian Society of Film Critics and has a master’s degree in German and English. For her thesis, she did a comparative analysis of Spielberg’s ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘The Pacific’. Koraljka trained at a Zagreb-based acting studio for six years and fell in love with Michael Chekhov and Lee Strasberg’s acting techniques. She is also a contemporary dancer and a Reiki master who believes in the transformative quality of art. Read more »


“There’s a huge amount of people who are attached to this icon. You have to put it out of your head. I learned this, weirdly, making Walk the Line. Almost every day, Joaquin [Phoenix, who played Johnny Cash] would come up to me before we’d start shooting a scene, he goes, ‘Say that thing.’ And I go, ‘You’re not Johnny Cash.’ And he goes, ‘Thank you.’ In order to channel Johnny Cash, he had to free himself from the weight of expectation, from the pressure of mimicry, from this intense sense of importance that people attach to a role or a scene.” —James Mangold

Screenwriter must-read: Gill Dennis & James Mangold’s screenplay for Walk the Line [PDF]. (NOTE: For educational and research purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Absolutely our highest recommendation.

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James Mangold: A Director Walks The Fine Line Towards The Oscars, by Brad Balfour.

Because he didn’t look exactly like Johnny, actor Joaquin Phoenix was remarkable in his way to manipulate himself to look like Johnny.
I take issue with that statement and have with everyone else that has made it—look the pictures of the young Johnny Cash in the ’50s. I think he looks a lot like Johnny. It took me ten years to get this movie made and every studio in town passed. The reason why they passed was the image they had of John was a 60-year-old man. I set off to make this movie and had this idea, what I wanted to do was make a movie of Johnny Cash and model it after East of Eden. I wanted that same structure. I wanted the naturalism and dynamism of James Dean. That was what I was looking for to eradicate that legendary image on John. I had to find my Johnny Cash slash James Dean to build that model. In one of the interviews I had with John [who worked closely with Mangold on this project before he died], I asked him how he married Vivian [Cash’s first wife] so fast. And he said two words, “Pier Angeli”—who was James Dean’s girlfriend. I was like “Holy shit.” He saw himself as James Dean. When I told him how I was seeing him as Dean when I was writing this, he said that was dead-on. [Producer/director] James Keach had the rights to the movie and he was trying to direct it himself. But I kept calling James every year after 1996 asking if I could direct it. We were always respectful about it. But three years later in ’99 he had gotten to a place that he wasn’t going to do this movie. Then he met with us and I came on to work on the script.

Did Reese Witherspoon [who plays June Carter] have a little more of an edge on the singing since everyone actually is doing the singing in the film?
Reese had worked more than Joaquin had. I think Joaquin felt it was an advantage to play John. He was a guy who never thought about singing at all and had to become Johnny Cash and could construct his whole attack on singing as a way to get closer to John.

What did he do to channel that?
Well one is the reasoning behind it was clear to both actors. This was a philosophy for the whole movie. I didn’t want to cast any one in a singing role who couldn’t really sing. The logic was really simple John and June were such incredible presences on the stage, the idea of doing a playback and having someone else’s voice singing other than Reese seemed wrong. It was not something that Joaquin had earned and owned. The whole idea to moving your mouth to preexisting recording puts the emphasis on things that John didn’t. He was not the prodigy on the guitar. He was a great storyteller and he was committed to his audience. You can listen to any of his albums and think he could have done better takes. But he could never do a better take on hitting the idea. That’s where the idea came from, to capture their souls.

Did you personalize this movie through another way besides through the music?
The truth of it is that this isn’t really John’s story [as a musician]. I don’t feel you can make a movie about that. It would be like artistic issues turned dramatic. I want to know about what those people are feeling at the moment. John would be the first to tell you that he didn’t feel like he had a vision for his music. It was through his emotional struggles that he found his artistic identity. The incredible power of John’s writing and vocals was just who John was. He was never going to undo that. He wanted to be a crooner. But what happened for him was what should have happened to him. I don’t think I could have made a movie about that. I wanted to make a movie about what they were feeling on a day-to-day basis. And you watch the art grow thought the circumstances in their lives. No one sits down and says that they’re going to be a great songwriter. They just find their soul. They connect to it and they say someone hear me. To make a movie about him in which I didn’t show that his success and artistic achievement was in some way greatly based by the participation of others would be a lie. I really don’t believe anyone has an issue making bio pic movies. I do think they have a problem making movies about human beings. I had everyone pass on this film. Movies about people are very rare these days. I don’t think Ray or Walk the Line had a hard time getting made because they were about a period of music. I think it’s just a tough time for people to like movies that are not comic book movies.

What convinces you to do a movie?
I love the story. I loved John and there was no other reason for me to make the movie. I loved his story. This will be the only Johnny Cash movie that will exist in the next few years. But I could cover every base and make a good movie. I had to make my Johnny Cash movie. It was about his passion and his true love and his demons.

Every film has that speech which sums up its theme. During the scene where Johnny talks to his dad at Thanksgiving seems to be that speech for this film.
Yeah that’s a good one. The other one is when Sam Philips says to John, it’s not about believing in God. It’s about believing in yourself. John’s gospel albums of the last ten years of his life are beautiful; the ones in the ’60s were not so great. The ones he made towards the end of his life were incredible. Why? Because he was ready; he had found himself. The guy in the ’60s had not found himself yet. You can’t be taking a fistful of uppers and downers and abandoning his family and being close to God. For me, I wanted this film to not be easy. I didn’t want that scene to end with them hugging. Sometimes people move an inch and it’s a mile. That I learned making Heavy. if eel that when dramatic films is when they get too manipulative. Some times dramatic films try to give everyone a bow on its story line that makes it not resonate with us. Some times we don’t just find peace sometimes we don’t find resolve.

Did you juggle the story at all?
I didn’t manipulate it. In fact, there are scenes in the movie that are true evocations that John and June told us about that hadn’t ever been in a bio pic of him before. No one really ever address these tours and how things went down on them. For me there wasn’t a lot of distortion. The idea working the way to their marriage and getting them to come together was a big deal.

Did you find that you felt a certain pressure to give a historical context of the film?
I tried to very carefully lay out the music you’re hearing. I wanted you to feel how soft it was before the explosion of the sun. Here was cool black blues music on the fringes and the Pasty Klein. All of America was about round edges. I wasn’t making a documentary but I wanted to feel it even in the songs John was trying to learn.

How has making this movie changed your life?
John and June had proven to me that the power of life can change lives. People wanted to save him because they felt he had to be saved. It wasn’t just about that he was a good guy it was about that he was an important voice to be saved. Even June knew that there was something magical about him.

How has the making of this film changed your filmmaking?
I think I got really spoiled. I hit a team on this movie where everything was humming. I felt like I was riding a magic carpet. I think Joaquin and Reese were something magical too. Something magical happened on our set. I don’t know if you can recreate that.

How do you react to people’s expectations about this film and the Oscars?
Well of course, you’re glad people are saying great things about the movie. For me it’s hard to get great movies made. It’s hard to get people movies made. All I ever ask in this case is that [people appreciate] that Joaquin and Reese’s work is so astounding. The only thing I think is unfair is that because it comes after Ray it might diminish it. I hope people see these movies for what they are, which is great, great performances.

Do you think it’s important to know how to do movies about characters and how to do that in genre films as well?
I’m very proud of my work on this film. I feel I learned a lot making two genre movies, Kate and Leopold [romantic comedy] and Identity [suspense/supernatural thriller]. What was great in making those two movies is that they were “unimportant” with concern to the Oscars, so I showed up to the set every day relaxed. I had more fun doing those movies and I hadn’t had that kind of fun since I was make super-8mm movies when I was sixteen. For me, it was a joy making a movie and having fun with the medium. When I came to this film, I really felt like I learned some serious lessons, not to have that feeling of importance overwhelm you.

Was it ever difficult for you to work with people who are perceived as stars and who might not be easy to direct?
Actors in general, when ever you get ready and ask if they’ll trust you—actually the most difficult person can be the guy coming to play the UPS man. Stars aren’t screwed by the system because they’re getting paid a lot are easier. People who are screwed by the system are more difficult. A-list actors have a lot of trust for the director because they get to work with such good directors. My theory of directing is I have three days. If my actor is coming to the set every day for three days ready to work and at the end of the day, they feel the work they arrived ready to do was better than the work they finished doing on film, then they’re going to hate me. The actor has to feel the interaction with me is better. If I don’t succeed in that in those first three days in the shoot, there will be mistrust.

Do you feel you are somewhat of a psychologist on the set with actors?
Absolutely. Movies are photograph of thought. That’s my whole purpose in making a movie—the idea of the importance of dialogue is a lie. It’s how they look at each other [that counts]. The truth of the movie is in their eyes. I call it “the litigious nature of dialogue.” The truth of the movie is what is going on through their teeth. As a writer, I believe in abundance or indulgence but I really minimize [as a director]. Leiv Shreiber gives a speech in Kate and Leopold that I love. That is a moment to indulge in speech and the beauty of the spoken word. But I don’t want the movie to be wall-to-wall dialogue.

Do you feel your career deals with couples a lot?
Well I always thought of Girl, Interrupted as a cleaved film in the way that Angie [Jolie] and Winona [Ryder]’s character were halves of one whole. But in this film, I felt both John and June’s characters had contradictory identities. Johnny Cash was the womanizer and he was also shy and sensitive. They’re both real and really him. June has to put the shine on and the amazing stage presence, and at the same time she was a single mother of two at a time where there weren’t single mothers.

Do you find it easier directing men or women?
I don’t find it easier one way or another. Men are easier to get out of the trailer. But I don’t find it easier either way. I think the reality is for me I find it easier when I get to know people. What I had on this film—which is really unusual given stars of this magnitude to be this way—I had unending trust. I’ve experienced that in all my films. The one thing that has to work between actors and directors is they can’t be second-guessing. They have to believe what they’re seeing and their part. These weren’t actors who were watching dailies or watching playback.



Visually, I really liked Unstrung Heroes and Million Dollar Hotel. Walk the Line I liked because it was inspirational shooting those performances on stage with that great music. The most fun was Sideways, because of the locations and drinking wine and Alexander Payne… after shooting, we would wrap at a vineyard. It was similar on Descendants, Alexander just creates a very respectful, intimately creative environment. With George it was also creatively highly stimulating. There is a lot of precision in the way George approaches the story. Ultimately, whenever you have great performances, it inspires everyone and I always try to pick and work on movies that I would go see myself… which are not that many! I try to stay away from big-budget action-hero movies because I feel you can easily lose the connection to the characters in them. I like the simpler, smaller, more intimate fare. —Phedon Papamichael



The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash features interviews with the singer-songwriter’s family and collaborators, along with newly unearthed archive footage and an original score from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready. It delves into the Man in Black’s triumphs and spiritual endeavors along with his addiction problems and personal tragedies. The film was created with the cooperation of the Cash estate and featured the legendary 1968 performance at Folsom Prison as eye of the storm to tell the rest of the story of Cash’s life.


Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of James Mangold’s Walk the Line. Photographed by Suzanne Tenner © Fox 2000 Pictures, Tree Line Film, Konrad Pictures, Catfish Productions, Major Studio Partners, Mars Media Beteiligungs. Intended for editorial use only. All material for educational and noncommercial purposes only.


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