My Father and the Man in Black
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Before there was Johnny and June, there was Johnny and Saul. Secretly recorded audio diaries and telephone calls with Johnny Cash from the 1960s and 1970s reveal a brand new side of the legendary singer. An intense personal adventure that just happens to feature one of 20th-century music's greatest icons, MY FATHER AND THE MAN IN BLACK tells the inside story of 'bad boy' Johnny Cash and his talented but troubled manager, Saul Holiff, whose unexplained suicide leaves a son searching for his father in the shadow of a legend. (c) New Chapter

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"You get a strong whiff of what it must have been like to be Johnny Cash, or his exasperated manager, from this film. It would make a good companion piece to "Walk the Line."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"Despite the clunky mix of narrative formats, "My Father and the Man in Black" makes for an illuminating alternate history of sorts to the Hollywoodized version of Cash's ascendancy in "Walk the Line.""
‑ Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times
"It's certainly a more enlightening look than any big-budget Hollywood biopic could offer."
‑ Austin Trunick, Under the Radar
"My Father And The Man In Black is partly a biography of Saul Holiff, partly an account of Jonathan Holiff's relationship with his dad, and never particularly successful as either."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"For Cash devotees who want a hitherto-hidden perspective on their man ... this is invaluable viewing."
‑ Andrew Pulver, Guardian
"It's good that Holiff wants to unlock this puzzle, but Cash is so compelling a figure that he is ultimately the only character we truly care about."
‑ Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic
"Partly transcends its inherent self-indulgence."
‑ Ronnie Scheib, Variety
"A strong story without the reconstructions. . . son/director could have trusted the powerful audio-visual material. . . instead of overplaying the reenactments and narration."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"In-the-family documentaries are often more emotionally rewarding for their makers than their viewers."
‑ Guy Lodge, This is London
"Plays like a non-fiction Walk the Line with script input by Eugene O'Neill."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
"Here these men are but ciphers; we want understanding, but we get only suggestion."
‑ David DeWitt, New York Times
"The result will amuse hardcore Cash fans, but few others."
‑ Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"This has the potential to be dreadfully maudlin stuff, but the film is too damn interesting to be maudlin."
‑ Sheila O'Malley,
"This film is rather like BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, but with altogether too many scenes re-enacted by lookalikes."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"It's fascinating to look at the life of Johnny Cash from a new angle, even if this documentary feels somewhat self-indulgent and a bit amateurish."
‑ Rich Cline,
More reviews for My Father and the Man in Black on Rotten Tomatoes