Movie #3: Walk the Line (2005)

Genre: Drama

Length: 136 minutes

Rating: PG-13 for some language, thematic material, and depiction of drug dependency

Plot: Growing up in Arkansas, Johnny Cash had a close relationship with his older brother and an interest in music. But when his brother dies in a freak accident, Johnny develops a sense of guilt and deep pain from the loss. As soon as he’s old enough, Johnny escapes into the Army, where he’s able to travel, and he learns to play the guitar and experiment with song writing.


When he returns to the States, he attempts to settle into a normal life. He marries, gets a job as a salesman, has kids, and forms a local band – which is discovered by the legendary Sam Phillips. He goes on several tours with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others. It is not long, though, before Johnny’s marriage falls apart.

During this time, he also meets and tours with his childhood idol June Carter. It is not until June and her devout Christian parents help Cash overcome his addictions, that he slowly begins to straighten out.

Discussion Starter Questions:

v  What particularly struck you about Johnny Cash’s life? What aspects of the relationship between Johnny and June caught your attention?

v  How did Johnny’s relationship with his dad impact him throughout his life? Is it possible for a person to find healing from such painful, dysfunctional relationships? Explain.

v  Why do you think June Carter and her parents decided to help Johnny? What do you think motivated their kindness and commitment to him?

v  Why do you think music was such an attraction for Cash? What is it about music that you find appealing?

-          From the book, Field Guide to Neighborhood Outreach by Group Publishing, 2007.

Note: A couple of weeks ago, we featured the outreach idea of having a Movie Night with your neighbors. Over the next few weeks, we’ll provide several more tips and movie choice ideas you might like to choose from for your party. Or, you might wish to host several Movie Nights for your neighbors over the course of our long Wisconsin winter in order to incorporate all of these films. Whatever you choose, have fun! – Lisa Jaeger