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Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (2008)

Cash performs a concert for the inmates of California's Folsom Prison, and the show was recorded for a live album.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Gene Beley ...
Himself
Jim Brown ...
Himself
...
Herself (archive footage)
...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself
Millard Dedmon ...
Himself
Marshall Grant ...
Himself
Earl Green ...
Himself
...
Himself
W.S. Holland ...
Himself
John D. Loudermilk ...
Himself
Jim Marshall ...
Himself
Lou Robin ...
Himself
Bruce Sherley ...
Himself
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Storyline

By 1968, Cash was still a star, but he was a man with sometime to prove as he sought to rise from a career slump brought on by a battle with drugs that took a toll on his body and spirit. That year, Cash performed a concert for the inmates of California's Folsom Prison, and the show was recorded for a live album. Cash delivered one of the greatest performances of his life that day, stark and heartfelt and full of empathy for the broken souls listening to his music, and the album that resulted was a surprise hit, reestablishing Cash as one of country music's most powerful and respected artists. Written by Ulf Kjell Gür

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Out of Darkness, Comes Light

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Release Date:

18 October 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Cash ja Folsom Prison  »

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$717,000 (estimated)
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Referenced in The Book of Eli (2010) See more »

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Out of Cash
10 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The problem with this documentary on Johnny Cash's famous concert at Folsom Prison of course is that there is no video footage of the event itself. Yes, there are audio tapes of rehearsals, stills photography and naturally the record itself but when the producer has to resort to fleshing out the story of the concert with a featurette on Glen Sherley, the convict whose song Cash played at the concert and to whom Cash attempted to give encouragement on his release, as well as a potted history of the man himself, you feel that there's too much padding here.

Worse, it resorts to using animated sequences to illustrate some of the songs, an approach completely at odds with the seriousness of the subject matter. As far as the interviewees are concerned, these fall into two categories, the admiring but critical (Merle Haggard in particular) and the fawning and largely uncritical (almost everyone else, including his band and family), which only gets worse when they extend their comments to eulogise Cash's wife, June.

Some intelligent use is made of historical, typically no bullshit voice-overs by the man himself and there's no question the music and his performance are great, but I think on the whole, this documentary doesn't serve its subject over-well and would instead recommend the "San Quentin" documentary, a snippet of which is enticingly included here, to admirers.


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