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Ridin' the Rails: The Great American Train Story (1974)

Johnny Cash guides us through the history of the great American railways, while performing some of his most famous train-related songs.



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Credited cast:
The Westernaires ...


Johnny Cash was well-known to be somewhat of a train aficionado, and many of his most famous songs have a train theme, so who better to tell the history of the great American railways, their rise and their fall? With his guitar, he guides us from the humble beginnings in the early 19th century to the modern day diesel engines. There are also re-enactments of some of the most important events in US railway history. Written by Per Hedetun

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Plot Keywords:

railway | train | country | amtrak | See All (4) »


History | Music





Release Date:

22 November 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Johnny Cash - ...und die Geschichte der amerikanischen Eisenbahn  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


(NTSC Color)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Short Review
14 May 2009 | by (90001) – See all my reviews

I remember I saw this film when I was right about age six in elementary school. It was on an old-school film projector that were very common at the time (16mm) in public schools in Southern California (at least then if not still in use or replaced entirely by VCR/DVD). It was a screening to get the opinion of kids on what they thought of the film. Although most kids in my particular class didn't like it because in urban areas in Southern California, "country" music was probably not popular at all (and probably still is this way), I remember I liked it because of its curiosity and focus on trains and their history, even though at the time I didn't know who the narrator and occasional folk singer in the film was (Johnny Cash). Of course, since then I have become a large fan, as many people throughout time and cultures who have been exposed to the music, both young and old, people in all sorts of walks of life and locations. Interestingly enough, I was one of the few kids who said I liked the film at the time, and I know that I have been the minority opinion on lots of things before that time and also since. Anyway, I just want to say that if you like Johnny Cash, trains, or folk/roots/country music you may also like this, whether as just a curiosity, or whether as a mainstay in your personal collection. Personally I think it is a good choice but remember I may be a minority opinion. Thanks for reading. 7/10

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