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Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  18 November 2005 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 180,919 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 810 user | 288 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 43 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Lee Lewis (as Waylon Malloy Payne)
Dan Beene ...


While growing up in the Great Depression era, Johnny Cash takes an interest in music and eventually moves out of his Arkansas town to join the air force in Germany. While there, he buys his first guitar and writes his own music, and proposes to Vivian. When they got married, they settled in Tennessee and with a daughter, he supported the family by being a salesman. He discovers a man who can pursue his dreams and ends up getting a record with the boys. Shortly after that, he was on a short tour, promoting his songs, and meets the already famous and beautiful June Carter. Then as they get on the long-term tours with June, the boys, and Jerry Lee Lewis, they have this unspoken relationship that grows. But when June leaves the tour because of his behavior, he was a drug addict. His marriage was also falling apart, and when he sees June years later at an awards show, he forces June to tour with them again, promising June to support her two kids and herself. While the tour goes on, the ... Written by kayleigh

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love is a burning thing.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some language, thematic material and depiction of drug dependency | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

18 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cash  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,347,341 (USA) (18 November 2005)


$119,518,352 (USA) (28 April 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shelby Lynne grew up listening to Johnny Cash's music. She composed the song "Johnny Meet June" the day he died. See more »


Steadicam and operator are visible during drum solo approx 45 minutes into film. See more »


[first lines]
Warden: M-Mr. Cash? M-Mr. Cash?
See more »


Features The Carol Burnett Show (1967) See more »


In the Sweet By and By
Written by S. Fillmore Bennett and J.P. Webster (as Joseph P. Webster)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Joaquin Phoenix is brutally hot as Johnny Cash!!
10 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Forget North Country, Walk the Line directed by James Mangold (Girl Interrupted) and written by Mangold and Gill Dennis is the better 2005 Oscar contender.

This romantic tragedy, which is based on the autobiographies of Johnny Cash The Man in Black and Cash: the Autobiography was actually written and perfected alongside the famous duo Cash and June Carter Cash before their deaths in 2003.

The movie begins with a young, music obsessed "J.R." Cash growing up in a poor cotton farming family in Arkansas. Shortly afterwards, a family tragedy changes his life forever.

Cash (Joaquin Phoenix) leaves for the air force, where he is stationed in Germany, buys an old guitar and proceeds to write one of the most recorded songs in history along with many others.

Upon returning, Cash's obsession leads him to a recording studio and into the spotlight with June Carter (Reese Witherspoon) as well as Elvis Presley (Tyler Hilton) and the comical Jerry Lee Lewis (Waylon Payne.) The next emotional hour and 45 minutes is filled with great music, drug dependency, infidelity, and most of all love.

Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, who sang every song themselves, completely shined in this movie. There are no better actors that could have filled the shoes of the Carter-Cash duo. Phoenix and Witherspoon had such great chemistry, by the end of the movie you actually think they might really be in love.

However, if you tend to get restless in longer movies, the running time of 136 minutes can start to seem a little long towards the end, but it's well worth it.

Overall Walk the Line receives nine out of ten stars. The movie did an excellent job portraying the life of the "man in black," his soul mate and their rocky path on the way to love. If Phoenix and Witherspoon are not nominated for their amazing voices and chilling performances, it will be a great disappointment.

234 of 318 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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