Walk the Line full movie review - Excellent - review by Johnny Cash close friend and minister
I was delighted when John Carter Cash, invited me to attend the premier showing of "Walk The Line".
I hope that those who view this movie will see the spiritual connections between John, his family, and those with whom he choose to associate. I am privileged to have been one of those who John called a friend. And to the producers and directors: It would be a blessing if the story of Johnny and June Cash's remarkable lives is continued from the point at which "Walk The Line" ended.
Johnny Cash and I were close personal friends for over twenty years. I loved him as a brother and miss him dearly. In the early 90's he asked me to call him every day? and I did so, as much as possible, for the many remaining years of our friendship. I would talk with him daily whether we were traveling the world, with me as the official 'Johnny Cash Show minister (or evangelist)', or while off the road and at home. We would talk about the things that most friends talk about, but always? always, about God, the Bible, a new or a favorite verse or passage, life's many challenges? and encourage one another in overcoming them.
John was one of the brightest individuals I've ever met? and, at times, as the film shows, one of the most troubled. John was one of God's sheep. He was, as the movie shows, living proof that redemption knows no limits other than our own refusal to accept it. Just as evening wolves stalk sheep, so the wolves of darkness pursued John. Yet, somehow, I believe he knew that even though a sheep cannot triumph over a wolf? he can beat it every time by staying close to the shepherd? and showed up at the feet of God quite often.
June Carter Cash was also a treasured friend. She graciously laid aside the opportunities of her own career and gifted talent to become John's life-long soul mate and a fiercely loyal devotee to keeping him happy, and making him 'walk the line'. Reese Witherspoon portrayed June accurately. June was also a faithful gatekeeper for John, and taught all of us (who were allowed through that 'gate') the grit and grace of friendship? once a friend? a friend always. The world will never be the same without June? and, likewise; Heaven will never be the same with her there.
I deeply enjoyed this film. Overall, I felt that the story was credible and portrayed accurately.
I commend Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon for delivering 'believability'. This was certainly a far from easy task, drawing deeply from their God-given talent, when you consider the extraordinary lives of the complex and unique individuals they portrayed.
I was appreciative of the spiritual content that was gracefully present for it was such a vital part of their lives. Joaquin Phoenix's insightful handling of the life-long struggle that John endured regarding his brother Jack's disastrous death, renewed deep emotions within me. John and I each lost an older brother in tragic accidents when we were young. This gave me an even deeper sense of, and identification with the pain he suffered, but rarely talked about.
There is much more that I could express about this significant film regarding the unique and remarkable lives portrayed in Walk The Line, and the treasured friendship and fellowship that God allowed John and I to share. If John could, I believe he would ask me to help others understand how he felt about God and how he tried to live his life. Therefore, please allow me to share a letter that he wrote to me in Australia.
"Jack Shaw's ministry, in tandem with the Johnny Cash Show, may be a first in the entertainment business. The Idea came to June and me on a tour last summer. Jack has long been a close friend and prayer warrior for our group and family. Before each concert we form a prayer circle in the dressing room with our family and any other members of the group who wish to join in. Jack leads a five-minute service of scripture reading, sharing and prayer. The service is uplifting and has put a positive power-edge on our performances.
Recently we took what I felt was a bold step, in that, toward the end of the concert I introduce Jack (who is positioned near the stage in the audience) and mention that he will be there after the concert to offer free counseling and advice on moral and spiritual matters. I tell them that he is a minister of the Gospel, and will talk to them about their personal problems, drug and alcohol addiction or simply about the Bible and what God has to say to them. As well as daily ministering to the needs of my eighteen-member group, many people have come down to talk to Jack after the concert every night.
Lives are changed, souls are saved, spirits are lifted and light is brought into the darkness of many hearts.
We are being led by inspiration, and I believe that God is guiding Jack in this great work he is now doing. The potential is unlimited and we feel Jack is just beginning in a great work. He gives us strength and peace through the Word and prayer. June and I feel supercharged, especially for the gospel part of our program. Jack's presence and his involvement in our work has given us an extra portion of joy and enthusiasm.
Jack is a humble man, and it is obvious that he only wants to serve God. Believers and non-believers alike have come to know that and respect that. Jack Shaw Ministries has cut a new path and the fruit of the harvest from the seeds sown along the way will be bountiful." Johnny Cash, Perth, Australia / Rev. Jack Shaw / Copyright 2005 -Jack Shaw Ministries