AFF 2008 Reviews
Johnny Cash at Folsom PrisonD: Bestor Cram.
Recorded in 1968, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison was a career-saving album – some say career-making. But while the powerhouse concert was a milestone, no film crew joined the Man in Black for part of the historic show. So the decision to push a documentary film on the concert to the fore more than 40 years later is peculiar. However, considering Cash's legacy, it's hard to argue with the film's relevance. Director Cram enlists Cash's daughter Rosanne and former bandmates such as Marty Stewart to shed light on both the man and the musician. Ironically, it turns out the most gripping story in the film does not end up Cash's. Rather, the most compelling character in the film is Glen Sherley, who wrote the memorable "Greystone Chapel," which Cash performed at Folsom Prison. With just 90 minutes to revisit Cash's legacy and the heartrending story of Sherley – who would commit suicide shortly after his release – this revisiting of the Folsom Prison (especially sans performance footage) will leave some feeling shortchanged.