November 20, 2005

Ray Charles and Johnny Cash

Their life stories, as told in the movies, follow similar courses. Let's see how...
RayWalk The Line
ParentsMother offers tough love to newly blinded son. Father, absent. Mother's love, passive. Father thinks Johnny is useless, never has a kind word for him.
Brother Dies TragicallyBrother George drowns while Ray stands and watches. Brother Jack gets chewed up by circular saw while Johnny goes fishin'.
Parents BlameMother asks "Why didn't you do somethin'?" Father asks "Where were you?!"
Leaving HomeCharles's mother sticks him on a bus bound for a school for the blind. Johnny leaves home on a bus bound for the Air Force.
Marries PoorlyMarries a gospel singer who just wants to settle down and raise a family.Marries a hometown girl who just wants to settle down and raise a family.
Iconic ImageAt his first audition, Ray is given sunglasses to hide his blindness. At his first audition, Cash and his band wear all-black because that's "the only color shirt all three [band members] own"
First Public PerformanceRay comes across as awkward and uncool, but immediately wows the crowd with his raw talent.Cash comes across as nervous and dorky, but immediately wows the crowd with his raw talent.
Infidelity on the RoadBeds every beautiful woman he meets, including backup singer Margie Hendricks. In love with June Carter from the moment they meet. Pledges his love via romantic duets onstage, uninvited kisses in motel room doorways, and spontaneous marriage proposals. Cash also is seduced by teenage fans backstage.
Substance AbuseSeeks out heroin from his junkie bandmembers, becomes hooked.Offered amphetamines by roadies, becomes hooked. Drinks beer constantly.
Strung OutSweaty Ray trashes bathroom, ends up on floor. Sweaty Johnny trashes bathroom, ends up on floor.
Jail TimeFinally nabbed by Feds for travelling back from Canada with drugs. Finally nabbed by Feds for travelling back from Mexico with drugs.
Rock BottomEnters rehab to avoid jail time, sweats out cold turkey withdrawal. Crashes tractor into lake, sweats out cold turkey withdrawal.
Gets His S**t Back TogetherMovie ends with Charles still in rehab-- his new, clean lifestyle is recounted in the end title cards. Movie ends with Cash and Carter getting engaged-- his successful marriage is recounted in the end title cards.