Watch Now: I WALK THE LINE
In the year 1970, American director John Frankenheimer made a film about an older man falling in love with a teenage girl. Just like Kubrick’s Lolita (1962) is based on Vladimir Nabokov’s literary classic, Frankenheimer’s I Walk the Line is an adaptation of Madison Jones’ 1968 novel An Exile. Originally called September Country, the film eventually took its title from Johnny Cash’s famous 1956 song I Walk the Line. Cash actually went on to re-record his hit track for the film and wound up writing more songs, thus recording the soundtrack for the entire movie. One of them, called Flesh and Blood, went to number one on the country singles chart in the USA.
Frankenheimer wanted Gene Hackman to play the part of Henry Tawes, a middle-aged small-town sheriff who gets bored with his spouse and his life, leading him to become infatuated with the teenage daughter of a local moonshiner. But Columbia Pictures insisted on Gregory Peck, seeing as how he was under contract, whereas Tuesday Weld, Kubrick’s number one choice for Lolita at the time (a role she turned down, later stating: "I didn't have to play it. I was Lolita"), got the part of his love interest Alma McCain. When talking about his neo-noir, Frankenheimer said: "It captured a certain part of the country very, very well. And I think we captured those mountain people very well, with their family loyalties and their inbreeding and their own kind of morality. They didn't think making moonshine was immoral, they just knew it was illegal."