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Walk the Line (2005)

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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.



(book), (book) | 2 more credits »
1,395 ( 319)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 44 wins & 46 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Marshall Grant
Jerry Lee Lewis (as Waylon Malloy Payne)
Dan Beene ...
Ezra Carter
W.S. 'Fluke' Holland


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 USA:

$22,347,341, 20 November 2005, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$119,519,402, 4 May 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$186,438,883, 12 March 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


The director said that Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon developed a very codependent relationship during filming. According to him, after the filming wrapped, Phoenix admitted to him that he and Witherspoon had relied on each other so much that they made a secret pact. The deal was that if one of them left or dropped out, the other would leave as well. See more »


When Jerry Lee Lewis plays the piano, you hear the last note after he has walked away from it. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, Robert Patrick's name appears to pass through the prison bars, like his T-1000 character did in Terminator 2: Judgment Day. See more »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.131 (2013) See more »


Home of the Blues
Written by Johnny Cash (as John R. Cash), Lillie McAlpin and Glenn Douglas
Sung by Joaquin Phoenix
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Magical performance by Reese Witherspoon
27 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

"Walk the Line" is without question the zenith of Reese Witherspoon's acting career thus far. Joaquin Phoenix IS Johnny Cash in this biopic, but Reese as June Carter Cash sets this film on fire. It is one thing to portray a person's life, with feeling and emotion, something which Joaquin pulls off effortlessly. However, it is quite another to make a portrayal bigger than life, and Reese makes June Carter Cash the central character of this film.

To say that Reese steals the show is an understatement. Reese becomes a lightning rod for Joaquin's character, in a way that is actually quite scary. After all, Reese is from Nashville, and her Southern affect is flawless and absolutely winning. Suffice it to say that Reese will thankfully be present when the Academy Awards are presented next year. She might want to get a few words ready.

This movie will not be everyone's favorite flick, if for no other reason than that it is a biopic of flawed, Southern characters. However, perhaps the very flaws that imbue these characters with vitality and realism can establish the acting of Joaquin and Reese with an almost spiritual meaning, as they live these real people on screen. But in the final analysis, Reese Witherspoon will become the greatest contemporary screen actor upon release of this film. See for yourself. You read it here first.

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