Recommendation: Buy it… or maybe you won it in our giveaway? (Sign up for newsletters so you don’t miss out on giveaways. Kathy Lother and Nina Rowan are sure glad they did!)
Release Date: 03/25/08
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” –Matt 9:11-13
Early on in my journey with Jesus, I would classify myself as one of the Pharisees you read about in the passage above. Someone who couldn’t ever see themselves associating with sinners. Somewhere, somehow I had this Pharisaical attitude towards people like Johnny Cash; you know, him wearing black and all that, being arrested for drug use, and being a Rock Star.
I think the movie Walk the Line is very much about Jesus. He came for sinners, hung out with them, and therefore his followers should too. And what is amazing is I can’t recall Jesus’ name mentioned once in the film, but it is still about him. Specifically, it is about how Jesus came after sinner extraordinaire Johnny Cash through June Carter and her family.
We see Jesus in Carter, and her family, who in the end stuck with Cash even as addicted as he was. They graciously accepted him and even at one point chased away the drug dealer at gun point. This is juxtaposed to a modern-day Pharisee who confronts June in a store saying her parents must be disappointed in her because divorce is an abomination.
Later we see Jesus in Cash, who wants to do a concert at Folsom Prison. An executive tells Cash, “Your fans are church folk, Johnny. Christians. They don’t wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin’ to cheer ’em up.” Cash has a great response, “Well, they’re not Christians, then.”
The 2 disc extended cut DVD has 17 minutes added to the film. I can’t find where the 17 minutes were added, but they seem to be sprinkled throughout the movie to add more clarity. It’s worth buying, plus you get the following Special Features.
The full cuts of the following actors performing the artists’ song (these are just plain fun).
- Joaquin Phoenix as Johnny Cash performing “Get Rhythm”
- Reese Witherspoon as June Carter performing “Jukebox Blues”
- Johnathan Rice as Roy Orbison performing “You’re my Baby”
- Tyler Hilton as Elvis Presley performing “That’s Alright Mama”
- Waylon Payne as Jerry Lee Lewis performing “Lewis Boogie”
Becoming Cash/Becoming Carter featurette (pretty amazing how two non-singers pulled this off)
Sun Records and the Johnny Cash sound featurette (interesting perspective from all involved, including Cash’s old band members saying they tried for years to get away from that “Cash sound”)
The Cash Legacy featurette (you get to see the Nine Inch Nails front man say, “I hear all the time when we sing Hurt ‘Oh you’re covering that Johnny Cash song.'” Hurt is a Nine Inch Nails song originally)