The Pride of Jesse Hallam (1981)

The Pride of Jesse Hallam (1981)

Directed by: Gary Nelson

Starring: Johnny Cash, Brenda Vaccaro, Ben Marley

You’d imagine a movie starring Johnny Cash would have a lot of original songs by the country music legend in it, but I think there was actually only one. Instead, it tries to stand on being an actually decent movie. What the hell?

Cash plays a coal miner from Kentucky who moves to Ohio with his children because his daughter needs some operation or other to keep her from being a hunchback (??). He tries to get a job, but the fact that he’s illiterate makes it tough. He ends up working for an Italian grocer, and his daughter (who is also the assistant principal at the school Cash’s son goes to) teaches Cash how to read.

Johnny Cash is pretty good in this! Weird, right? Not only is the character pretty different from his “man in black” persona, but he actually shows a bit of range and creates a pretty relatable character that feels real. Hell, he’s better than Brenda Vaccaro, and she was a staple of 70’s and 80’s television.

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About Reid

Born in a dumpster, died in a fire. View all posts by Reid

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