The man. The music. The heartaches. It's the Walk the Line trivia quiz!

By: Julie Medina
Image: TMDB

About This Quiz

“Hello, I'm Johnny Cash.” From Cash's early life, his romance with June Carter, and his ascent to country music fame, this musical biographical film tells it all. The man. The music. The heartaches. Relive the soul of country music through the Man in Black with this trivia quiz.

Who played the world-famous Johnny Cash?

Joaquin Phoenix portrayed Johnny Cash so well that he was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Joaquin Phoenix was born Joaquin Bottom. He is an actor, producer, music video director, musician, and activist. For his work as an artist, Phoenix has received a Grammy Award, a Golden Globe Award, and three Academy Award nominations.

What actress portrayed the love of Johnny Cash’s life, June Carter?

Reese Witherspoon portrayed June Carter so well that she was nominated for and won an Academy Award. Witherspoon, an actress and producer, made her professional screen debut in The Man in the Moon and was nominated for a Young Artist Award. She starred in Pleasantville and won the Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance. Then her leading role in Election earned her a nomination for a Golden Globe Award. Witherspoon's breakthrough role was playing Elle Woods in the 2001 film Legally Blonde, for which she received international recognition and her second Golden Globe nomination. The following year, she starred in the romantic comedy Sweet Home Alabama, which emerged as her biggest commercial success. She also earned her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in Wild.

The film opens in 1968 as Cash stands backstage at the Folsom State Prison. What does he see that reminds him of his childhood?

The table saw reminds Johnny about a horrible time in his childhood. While his older brother Jack is sawing wood for a neighbor with a table saw, Johnny (known as J.R. at the time) goes fishing until his brother finishes. But Jack has an accident with the table saw and dies of his injuries. His father tells Johnny the wrong kid died.

Why was Johnny’s brother “the good one”?

Jack, Johnny’s brother, was training himself to become a pastor, whereas Johnny was only known for his singing of hymns. His parents were very proud of Jack, as Jack's father was only a sharecropper. Despite what was depicted in the movie, Johnny Cash actually had a drug problem throughout his entire adult life. He would only go for a few years between taking drugs, which may be another reason his parents were disappointed in him after he grew up.

What does Johnny purchase while enlisted in the Air Force?

In 1950, J.R. enlists in the United States Air Force as Johnny Cash and is stationed in Germany. He purchases a guitar and, in 1952, finds solace in writing songs, one of which he develops as Folsom Prison Blues. Did you know that Johnny Cash's daughter, Rosanne Cash, was not a fan of the film? "It was like having a root canal without anesthetic," she said.

How does Johnny make ends meet after he is discharged from the Army?

After his discharge, Johnny Cash returns to the United States and marries his girlfriend, Vivian Liberto. The couple move to Memphis, Tennessee, where Cash works as a door-to-door salesman to support his growing family. Vivian Liberto is portrayed by Ginnifer Goodwin, who is best known for starring in the drama series Big Love, playing Snow White in the fantasy series Once Upon a Time, and voicing Judy Hopps in the Disney animated film Zootopia. She also appeared in various films, including Mona Lisa Smile, Something Borrowed, Killing Kennedy, and He's Just Not That Into You.

How many children did Vivian and Johnny Cash have together?

Vivian and Johnny Cash had four children together throughout their unstable marriage. Vivian Liberto Distin died in 2005 as a result of complications from lung cancer. She and Cash were married 13 years. She was the woman Cash pledged to remain faithful to in his iconic song, I Walk the Line.

What inspires Johnny to organize a gospel band?

Working as a door-to-door salesman, Johnny Cash walks past a recording studio, which inspires him to organize a band to play gospel music. Cash's band auditions for Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. Dallas Roberts portrays Sam Phillips, the founder, owner, and producer of Sun Records, who gives Johnny Cash the break he needs. You may recognize Dallas Roberts as Milton Mamet in season three of AMC's The Walking Dead, or from his role as Eliot Delson in Unforgettable, or as Owen Cavanaugh on The Good Wife.

Who says this? “If you was hit by a truck and you was lying out there in that gutter dying, and you had time to sing *one* song. Huh? One song that people would remember before you're dirt. One song that would let God know how you felt about your time here on Earth. One song that would sum you up. You tellin' me that's the song you'd sing?”

Cash's band auditions for Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records. They start out playing a gospel tune until Sam Phillips give them the talk. Then, after they play Folsom Prison Blues, the band receives a contract and launches to stardom at the beginning of the rock and roll craze. Did you know that Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix sound so good because they both had vocal training for six months with music producer T Bone Burnett?

What was the name of Johnny Cash’s first real band?

The band presented themselves as the Tennessee Three, but Phillips suggested that they call themselves Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two. When Cash moved to Columbia Records in 1958, the group followed him. However, in 1960, drummer W.S. Holland joined the group, which was then renamed The Tennessee Three. They were the backing band for Johnny Cash for nearly 25 years, until Cash reorganized the group and name it The Great Eighties Eight in 1980. The group provided the unique backing that would come to be recognized by fans as "the Johnny Cash sound."

What was one of the first songs Johnny Cash wrote?

Johnny Cash started writing Folsom Prison Blues when he was in the Air Force. Then he performed it for Sam Phillips and the rest was history. Although Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, and Jackson made him a household name. Cash had 14 number one hits, including A Boy Named Sue, Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, and Sunday Morning Coming Down.

Which of these artists does Cash tour with?

Johnny Cash toured with some of the greats: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, and others. Waylon Payne originally auditioned for the role of Waylon Jennings. The director was so impressed by Payne's audition that he cast Payne as Jerry Lee Lewis. Interestingly enough, the actor who got the role of Waylon Jennings was Waylon's own son, Shooter Jennings.

Who is June Carter first married to?

On tour Johnny Cash meets singer June Carter, who is married to Carl Smith. June Carter is a singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, comedian, and author. Born into country music, she performed with the Carter Family from the age of 10, beginning in 1939. She played the guitar, banjo, harmonica, and autoharp, and acted in several films and television shows. June Carter won five Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame in 2009. She was ranked number 31 in CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music in 2003.

What happens when Johnny Cash meets June Carter?

On tour Johnny Cash meets singer June Carter, with whom he falls in love. Cash begins spending more time with June, who divorces her first husband Carl Smith. It’s good to know that Johnny Cash approved Joaquin Phoenix to play him in the film because he liked his performance in the movie Gladiator. June Carter Cash also approved Reese Witherspoon for her role in the film.

Why does June and Johnny’s relationship fall apart?

June has divorced her husband. And although June and Johnny spend a lot of time together, fishing, talking, and seeing each other at work every day, June doesn't like his behavior when he is taking drugs and alcohol. After his behavior reaches rock bottom during a performance with June, they separate. Did you know that, due to the similarities between his lifestyle and Johnny Cash's, Joaquin Phoenix was hospitalized after filming?

What is the occupation of Johnny Cash’s father?

Johnny Cash’s father, Ray Cash, is a sharecropper on a cotton farm in Dyess, Arkansas. Ray Cash is portrayed by Robert Patrick, best known for his villainous characters, especially his portrayal of T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Other notable films include Fire in the Sky, Striptease, Cop Land, The Faculty, Spy Kids, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Flags of Our Fathers, We Are Marshall, Bridge to Terabithia, The Men Who Stare at Goats, and Safe House. From FBI Special Agent John Doggett in The X-Files to The Sopranos, Elvis, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Burn Notice, Last Resort, Sons of Anarchy, and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, and Scorpion, Patrick is well known to TV viewers.

Who played Ray Cash’s wife, Carrie Cash?

Shelby Lynne is a singer and songwriter. The success of her 1999 album, I Am Shelby Lynne, led to her winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. She released a Dusty Springfield tribute album called Just a Little Lovin' in 2008. Since then she has started her own independent record label, called Everso Records, and released three albums: Tears, Lies and Alibis, Merry Christmas, and Revelation Road. This was one of just a few acting jobs she has had.

What does Vivian object to?

Johnny persuades June to come out of semi-retirement and tour with him. Vivian objects, but Johnny does what he wants. The tour is a success. However, Vivian’s concerns are realized when, after a performance in Las Vegas, Johnny and June sleep together. Did you know that Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon performed all the songs themselves, without being dubbed? They also learned to play their instruments (guitar and auto-harp, respectively) from scratch!

Why does June regret sleeping with Johnny?

After Johnny and June sleep together, June notices Johnny taking pills and doubts her choices. Johnny doesn’t understand June’s apparent rejection and drowns his sorrows in more drinking and drugs. Interestingly enough, the codependency shown in the film was also true in reality. The director said that Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon developed a very codependent relationship during filming. According to him, after the filming wrapped, Phoenix admitted to him that he and Witherspoon had relied on each other so much that they made a secret pact. The deal was that if one of them left or dropped out, the other would leave as well.

What happens at the concert after June rejects Johnny?

At that evening's concert, Johnny, upset by June's apparent rejection, behaves erratically and eventually passes out on stage. June disposes of Johnny’s drugs in the hopes he’ll become clean. During one scene Johnny Cash is high and performing I Got Stripes, he walks right up to June Carter and glares at her for an uncomfortably long period of time on stage. According to the director, James Mangold, this was unscripted and improvised by the actors. Mangold said that he simply told Joaquin Phoenix to do what he would do in real life if he were angry at his girlfriend and then had to perform on stage with her. Much to Phoenix's surprise, this backfired and Reese Witherspoon responded to his actions by simply rolling her eyes and continuing to perform the song.

What does this situation with Johnny passing out on stage do to June?

After June gets rid of Johnny’s drugs she begins to write Ring of Fire to describe her feelings for him and her pain at watching him become an addict. Did you know that June Carter Cash died before production began? To prepare for her role as June Carter, Witherspoon watched several videos of the singer; she also listened to her singing and telling stories to get her voice right. Reese Witherspoon's research included looking through Carter's closet for inspiration.

Without drugs, what does Johnny Cash do?

Cash travels to Mexico to purchase more drugs and is arrested. This affects his marriage to Vivian and the pair divorce. They had four children together. In real life, Johnny’s oldest daughter, Rosanne Cash, is a singer-songwriter and author. She won a Grammy in 1985 for I Don't Know Why You Don't Want Me and has received twelve other Grammy nominations. She has had eleven number-one country hit singles, 21 Top 40 country singles, and two gold records. Rosanne Cash was the 2014 recipient of Smithsonian magazine's American Ingenuity Award in the Performing Arts category. On February 8, 2015, Cash won three Grammy awards for Best Americana Album for The River & the Thread, Best American Roots Song with John Leventhal, and Best American Roots Performance for A Feather's Not A Bird. Cash was honored further on October 11, 2015, when she was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

How does Johnny try to get back in June’s good graces?

Cash moves to Nashville in 1966. Trying to reconcile with June, he buys a large house near a lake in Hendersonville. Johnny Cash and June Carter's actual home, in Hendersonville, Tennessee, appears in the movie. It burned to the ground on April 10, 2007, while under renovation by its new owner, Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees.

How does Thanksgiving work out for Johnny?

Johnny invites his parents and the extended Carter family for Thanksgiving. Not having cooked anything, Johnny lets them bring food over to his house. During dinner Johnny confronts his father about blaming him for his brother’s death when it was his father’s work that Jack was doing. Not only does Ray disagree, he dismisses his son's achievements and laughs at the fact that his bulldozer is stuck on his property. Lucas Till portrayed Jack, Johnny’s older brother. Till has done well since Walk the Line. He has starred in House, Stoker, and Hannah Montana: The Movie. He is known for his role as Havok in the X-Men film series, starting with 2011 X-Men: First Class and plays Angus MacGyver in the television reboot of MacGyver, which premiered in September 2016.

Which of these lines is from the song, Ring of Fire?

All of these lyrics are from the song Ring of Fire that Johnny Cash sings. It was written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore. Did you know that June Carter Cash was older than Johnny Cash? However, Reese Witherspoon is younger than Joaquin Phoenix.

What situation are June and her mother talking about? June Carter: "I am not goin' down there, if I go down there..." Maybelle Carter: "You already are down there, honey."

Johnny is trying to prove his father wrong, but it’s just a cry for help. That’s why he needs June. He goes into detox and wakes with June; she says they have been given a second chance. Though not married, the two begin spending most of their time with each other. When James Mangold, the director, asked the real Johnny Cash what his favorite film was, the singer replied Frankenstein - "because it's about a man made up of all these bad parts and yet he still tries to do something decent and be someone decent." That is a great insight into the man himself.

Why does Johnny Cash propose to Columbia Records that he record an album live inside Folsom Prison?

Cash discovers that most of his fan mail is from prisoners, who are impressed with his outlaw image. He tells Columbia Records that he wants to record an album live, inside Folsom Prison. Despite Columbia's doubts, Cash says that he will perform and his label can use the tapes if they wish. At the Folsom Prison concert, Cash says that he has been sympathetic to prisoners, explaining that his arrest for drug possession helped him to relate to them.

Where is the first place Johnny Cash proposes to June Carter?

With this success from the Folsom Prison album, Cash embarks on a tour with June and his band. On the bus, he stops to talk with June and proposes to her, but she turns him down. Although the subsequent proposal at the concert is memorable, so is an earlier scene where Johnny Cash pulls the sink off the wall. It was not scripted; Joaquin Phoenix actually pulled it off the wall.

How does June keep Cash from proposing to her over and over again?

After he proposes to her on the bus, they head to the next concert. To thwart Cash from asking her again, June says she will only speak with him on stage. Cash later performs Ring of Fire on stage. After the song, Cash invites June to sing a duet and stops in the middle, saying he cannot sing Jackson anymore unless June agrees to marry him. She has not outsmarted him.

What happens when Johnny proposes to June on stage?

June accepts and they share a passionate embrace on stage. Johnny Cash really did propose to June Carter Cash onstage. It happened in February 1968, at the London Ice House, a hockey arena in London, Ontario, in the middle of a performance of Jackson. She accepted and they married a week later. They were together ever since.

What did the critics think of Reese Witherspoon’s performance?

Reese Witherspoon received an Academy Award for her performance, as well at the other accolades. She also received a BAFTA and Golden Globe. What’s interesting to note is that both Witherspoon and Phoenix admitted in interviews that they didn't get along and constantly argued during the six months of singing lessons prior to filming. It wasn't until filming started that they connected and became friends. A roller-coaster relationship like that could hinder one’s performance.

What did the critics think of the film?

The film had positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie an aggregate rating of 82%, based on 204 reviews. The two lead performances received rave reviews. According to Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times, "Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon do first-rate work — they sing, they twang, they play new-to-them instruments, they crackle with wit and charisma, and they give off so much sexual heat it's a wonder they don't burst into flames."

What did the fans think of the film?

The audience gave it a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was also a huge financial success. On a budget of $28 million it earned $186.4 million in box office sales. It was the all-time highest-grossing music biopic until Straight Outta Compton surpassed it in 2015.

How many Golden Globe Awards did the movie win?

Joaquin Phoenx and Resse Witherspoon won Best Actor/Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. The film also won the Best Motion Picture -Musical or Comedy. Walk the Line was also nominated for five Academy Awards, with Reese Witherspoon talking home the Oscar.

The soundtrack was amazing - what award did it win?

The album received a Grammy at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media. It included nine songs performed by Joaquin Phoenix, four songs by Resse Witherspoon, two songs by Tyler Hilton, and one song each by Waylon Payne, Johnathan Rice, and Shooter Jennings.

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