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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.



3 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 ...
Johnny Cash at 30
Joshua Robinson ...
Saul Holiff at 40
Dan Champagne ...
Johnny Cash at 40
Norman Singer ...
Saul Holiff at 75
Elli Hollands ...
Alino Giraldi ...
Saul Holiff at 20
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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A non-fiction 'Walk The Line" See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »


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Release Date:

6 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Isäni ja Johnny Cash  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


WINNER "Best Documentary" at 2013 Lewiston Auburn Film Festival (USA) See more »


Johnny Cash: Saul, There is one question that burns in our minds. Do you believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah as prophesied by the Old Testament? Do you believe in His Divinity?
[Original Source: Letter from Johnny Cash to Saul Holiff; April 28, 1975]
Saul Holiff: John, I can't honestly answer your question about Jesus. Years of sounding off about things I haven't fully investigated has resulted in a need for a mental catharsis.
[Original Source: Letter from Saul Holiff to Johnny Cash; May 20, 1975]
June Carter Cash: For Saul, ...
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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
22 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

This heartfelt documentary is as much about family as it is about showbiz. I particularly was intrigued by the recorded letters, telegrams, diaries, home movies and audiotapes that Jonathan brought to the screen. This was a well written labor of love about a son's search for the understanding of his own father. You cannot help but be a part of Jonathan's journey to learn more about his father who was never home. His father's audio diaries tell a sad story of a father who was never around always distracted and somewhat distant. I felt a deep connection to Jonathan's struggle to find answers as to why his father acted the way he did. Perhaps he will never know the 'real' reason...however in my heart, I believe he found some closer while sifting through evidence of a life he never knew. Kudos to you Jonathan for a job well done!

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