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My Father and the Man in Black (2012)

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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 204 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 17 user | 31 critic | 13 from

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.



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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »





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 ...
Alino Giraldi ...
Saul Holiff at 20
Robert Skanes ...
Marshall Grant
Trevor Juras ...
Luther Perkins


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 (

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:

My Father and the Man in Black  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


Saul Holiff: I don't want to sound corny, but, uh, I gave Johnny up, Johnny didn't give me up. This is something that skeptics question because I don't know of any similar situation where someone gives up an act, a superstar. No I left Johnny voluntarily. I wanted to go back to school. I got out because I wanted out. So I could rebuild my self-respect, and be my own person again.
[Original Source: CFPL Radio interview, circa 1976]
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

My Father and the Man in Black
1 October 2012 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I saw the documentary when it was shown in London, Ontario. This is a very captivating documentary which gives great insight into the man behind Johnny Cash. I came away with a new appreciation of what it takes to be a manager in the entertainment business. This is a film which shows the struggles and the sacrifice and the hard work. So much went into the making of this film and the result is great detail and very professional work. From the opening scene to the very end this film will hold your interest. I believe it is a very important piece of entertainment history. I highly recommend this documentary. You will not go away disappointed.

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