Review: ‘I Walk the Line’

Like the Johnny Cash ballads that comprise its background scores and make an intangible emotional commentary on the story, I Walk the Line has an authentic, somber and gritty feel of life in the Tennessee back hills, Gregory Peck is the sheriff compromised by Tuesday Weld, moonshiner Ralph Meeker's nubile and sexually precocious daughter, and Estelle Parsons is Peck's desperate wife.

Like the Johnny Cash ballads that comprise its background scores and make an intangible emotional commentary on the story, I Walk the Line has an authentic, somber and gritty feel of life in the Tennessee back hills, Gregory Peck is the sheriff compromised by Tuesday Weld, moonshiner Ralph Meeker’s nubile and sexually precocious daughter, and Estelle Parsons is Peck’s desperate wife.

Each create thoroughly believable characters whose passions and individual codes are on a course of inevitable tragedy. Aesthetically, director John Frankenheimer has made a ownbeat folk ballad that rings true to its people and setting.

Weld is striking as the moonshiner’s daughter, capturing just the right accent and qualities of late teenage sensuality, amorality and dumb innocence to make her a fatal attraction for an older married man.

I Walk the Line

Production

Columbia. Director John Frankenheimer; Producer Harold D. Cohen; Screenplay Alvin Sargent; Camera David M. Walsh; Editor Henry Berman; Music Johnny Cash; Art Director Albert Brenner

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Gregory Peck Tuesday Weld Estelle Parsons Ralph Meeker Lonny Chapman Charles Durning
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