I Walk the Line

Tagline : Sheriff Tawes walks the line between duty and desire, between law and violence, between honor and shame

Runtime : 97 mins

Genre : Drama

Vote Rating : 5.8/10

Budget : 4 million $ USD

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : Henry Tawes, a middle-aged sheriff in a rural Tennessee town, is usually the first man to criticize others for their bad behavior. Miserable in his marriage, Henry falls in love with teenage seductress Alma, who is the daughter of local criminal and moonshiner Carl McCain. Henry's moral character comes further into question when he is tempted to conceal Carl's crimes in order to prolong his relationship with Alma.

Cast Members

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_**How a man becomes a loaf of bread**_ Not to be confused with the 2005 biopic of Johnny Cash (although the soundtrack features several Cash songs), "I Walk the Line" (1970) stars Gregory Peck as a taciturn Appalachian sheriff who suffers a mid-life crisis and falls for some pretty young thang (Tuesday Weld), the daughter of a generational moonshiner. The sheriff turns a blind eye and everything's fine, but for how long? You can't go wrong with Gregory Peck. Although I've only seen about a dozen of his movies over the years he's always been an unvoiced favorite of mine. He's tall, (seemingly) noble, masculine, likable, determined and just has an unshowy star quality. Here he plays his usual self with the exception that, facing a mid-life crisis, he makes dubious choices and hurts those connected to him. Tuesday Weld was 26 years-old during filming and is easy on the eyes. Her character maintains a naive quality even though what she does is wrong. I suppose you could say she's more ignorantly amoral than malevolently immoral. The film was shot in the beautiful Appalachian hills of North-central Tennessee. The courthouse square scenes were shot in Gainesboro, but the dam scene that opens the movie (and is shown again later) was shot at Center Hill Dam. The Drive-In movie sequence where they are watching the 1969 Jerry Lewis movie "Hook, Line and Sinker" was shot at the Green Hills Drive-in in Carthage (hometown of Al Gore), about 45 minutes from Gainesboro. During the production Gregory, Tuesday, director John Frankenheimer and other cast & crew members stayed at the Holiday Inn in Cookeville, TN. All the buildings in Gainsboro are still there (including the pool hall) except the first store that was cattycorner to the courthouse (where the sheriff shops), which was torn down. A small portion of the film was also shot in Northern California, in a little town called Colusa, the seat of Colusa County, but I can't tell which specific scenes. Much of Colusa's architecture has a very Southern influence and has been featured in a number of movies. I like the moral of the story: One's actions have a ripple effect -- foolish choices will inevitably hurt not only you but those linked to you, just as right choices bless you and others. On that same note, the film effectively shows how a formidable upstanding man can be reduced to a loaf of bread simply by unwisely falling prey to the temptation of some young cutie. The story plays out in an ultra-realistic manner like other films of the 60s and 70s before the brainless "blockbuster" came into vogue. This isn't a negative to me because I actually prefer realism but others might not appreciate it, especially the flat vibe of of the first act, but the story picks up steam in the second act and holds till the end. Some don't like the film because the usually-noble Peck is playing a sad and lonely transgressor. This is against type and perhaps explains why Peck took the part; he was 53 at the time and likely saw the role as a challenge. Here was an opportunity to play a character who is neither a hero nor anti-hero, a character who feels trapped by routine and meaninglessness, who makes a desperate and ill-fated attempt to drag himself out by means of his lust for beauty, the one thing that makes him feel alive again. Peck rose to the challenge admirably but this naturally has the negative effect of stirring disrespect, even loathing, in the viewer. "I Walk the Line" is a good flick that was never acknowledged and seems to have been lost over time. It's along the lines of the contemporaneous "Deliverance" albeit without the sexual perversion and more on the dramatic & mundane side and less of a adventure. The film runs 1 hour, 37 minutes. GRADE: B

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