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My Father and the Man in Black (2012)

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The untold story of 'bad-boy' Johnny Cash, his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, and a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend.



2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Saul Holiff ...
Himself (archive footage)
Himself (archive footage)
Jonathan Holiff ...
Himself (archive footage)
Herself (archive footage)
Harvey Glatt ...
Gary Holiff ...
Saul Holiff at 50
David Disher ...
Joshua Robinson ...
Saul Holiff at 40
Dan Champagne ...
Norman Singer ...
Saul Holiff at 75
Elli Hollands ...
Saul Holiff at 20
Robert Skanes ...
Trevor Juras ...


After the suicide of Johnny Cash's former manager, Saul Holiff, his estranged son, Jonathon, returns home. There, Jonathon learns from his mother that his father's personal records exist in storage. As Jonathon searches through them, he discovers much about his father's life of deferred dreams in London, Ontario until he became the manager of Johnny Cash. From there, Jonathon learns of his father's hectic life managing the erratic country star with his personal demons and moods and how the material success came with a profound cost of its own for Saul. In doing so, Jonathon gets a new perspective of a father who had his problems that he never fully conquered himself. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before there was Johnny and June, there was Johnny and Saul See more »



Official Sites:




Release Date:

6 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Isäni ja Johnny Cash  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Named "Top 10 Audience Favorite" at 2012 Calgary International Film Festival (Canada) See more »


Saul Holiff: The situation was that Johnny was on the floor of the motor home totally unconscious. No one could pick up any pulse whatsoever. For all intents and purposes, HE WAS DEAD. Harold Reid had his ear on Cash's chest saying, "I can't hear anything." Another member of the group is saying, "I wonder where he hid the pills;" another is saying, "I'm not going to cross the border, because WE'LL ALL GO TO JAIL." Another is saying, "Wellesley Hospital is right around the corner, why don't we take him there...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, where a major distributor is normally listed, the filmmaker inserted the words "Intentionally Left Blank." This was an inside joke. Adverse market conditions offset by a large following for the film made self-releasing a more attractive option. Later, when the film was given final certification for tax credit purposes, the Canadian government required the filmmaker to sign an affidavit swearing that no such company "Intentionally Left Blank" had been connected with the film. See more »

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User Reviews

collateral damage
17 June 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I watched the premiere on CTV, June 17, 2013. It was great to see a story about Johnny Cash's dark celebrity with the focus on his back-room power broker and the lynch-pin that appears to have been an at-times tormented friendship. Caught up in the whirlwind of fame, Saul Holiff appears to have been a man willing to compromise many things in his life that he was sadly unable to reconcile. Kudos to Jonathan Holiff for an unemotional, non-blaming story-telling about the father-son relationship that was clearly collateral damage. The locker full of memorabilia could have been a roomful of pain, and perhaps it was, but the film shows that Jonathan instead chose to receive the content as a gift from a father to his creative, talented son.

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