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Pride of Jesse Hallam


Price: $5.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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$5.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Kentucky coal miner Jesse Hallam moves his two children to Cincinnati so that his daughter can have life-saving spinal surgery. Jesse learns that life in the city can be cruel and that jobs are often scarce, especially so given Jesse's life-long secret: he is illiterate. Determined to provide a good life for his children, Jesse struggles to overcome his disability so that he can graduate from high school alongside his son.

Brilliant country-western musician Johnny Cash delivers a poignant and realistic portrayal of a hard-working rural miner trying his best to provide for his children against overwhelming odds in a harsh urban landscape. Prolific character actor Eli Wallach shines in this compelling 1981 TV movie as the gruff boss who gives Hallam the break he needs.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Johnny Cash, Eli Wallach, Brenda Vaccaro
  • Directors: Gary Nelson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Alpha Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 30, 2010
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0037FFAQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,523 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Eric Thibodeau on November 2, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is NOT a tape about Johnny Cash!! It is a CD interview with him, along with a movie, the Pride of Jessie Hallam. I bought it thinking it was about Johnny. WRONG. I waited 6 weeks and paid 18 bucks for it, only to be disappointed! You have to read the info carefully to see that. Don't make the same mistake I did!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By kanzac on December 27, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
As a Johnny Cash fan for longer than I care to remember I think this video was excellent. Johnny Cash played a difficult part convincingly and the story suited his style superbly. The accompanying CD is a must for every Johnny Cash fan. I've played it over and over.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By rsoonsa VINE VOICE on February 16, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
There are 25 million functional illiterates in the United States, and this film made for television is purportedly based upon events in the life of one of them, Jesse Hallam, portrayed here in typically wooden fashion by Johnny Cash, primarily about Hallam's troubles after moving to a large city (Cincinnati). Hallam, a miner since 14 from the Coal Fields sector of Western Kentucky in Muhlenberg County, has no choice but to leave his country home when his young daughter requires spinal surgery in the Ohio metropolis, paid with cash in advance obtained from the sale of his property after his wife's death. He pits his native intelligence and work ethic against the problem of not being able to read or write, and discovers that in order to support himself and his two children, he must become literate; scenes involving the methods used in developing his new skills are the most engrossing of the production. Brenda Vaccaro plays Marion Galucci, vice-principal of the high school that Jesse's son Ted attends, doing her best with an underwritten role as Hallam's mentor, and one must appreciate the spirited performance of veteran Eli Wallach as her father Sal, employer and sponsor of the erstwhile coal miner. Adequately helmed by television director Gary Nelson, the work's stature rises from fine camerawork by Gayne Rescher, while Cash sings several appropriate songs on a sound track that features some excellent instrumental performances, including deft banjo work by Oscar Scruggs.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this many years ago when it originally came out. This may not be a Johnny Cash concert, but it is an extremely good movie which stars him. I'm sorry the previous 2 people did not enjoy it, but it sounds like they weren't looking for a movie, but instead a concert or biography of this man. This isn't misleading advertising at all... it is a video of the MOVIE entitled The Pride of Jesse Hallam. It's about a man who is illiterate and his family and how they cope after his wife dies. It goes through this man's experiences of learning to read among other things. It is an amazing movie. Judge it on what it is instead of what it is not.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By "sws170" on November 26, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
EXCELLENT! This is a very warm movie, one that should be shown at public schools. No, it's not a concert or biography, rather it is a movie about a grown man (Cash) who never learned to read/write & stumbles thru life without admitting it. Watch this one with your family. Cash was made for this part, and plays it naturally.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nancy Sherburne on March 16, 2009
Format: DVD
I have had this movie on a VHS tape of mine for I have no idea how many years and it will be great to get it on a DVD. Such a powerful statement on family values and being honest with each other. The movie begins where Jesse has to sell off his home in Kentucky and move to Cinccinnati so his young daughter can get the operation she needs because she has scoliosis. Then he takes his son to school, telling him to fill out the paper work because he needs to find a job. As the movie unfolds, we see Jesse giving us clues that lead up to an unfortunate condition shared by many -- he is not able to read. When his son tells him he is being dropped a grade because of his schoolwork, Jesse has it out with the assistant principal played by Brenda Vacarro who lets him know her father may have a job for him. Jesse meets her Italian father played very ably by Eli Wallach who not only hires him, but in finding out Jesse's secret, fixes him up with his daughter to teach him to read. So begins a relationship between two strong-willed people who draw the viewers into their disagreements with each other, one trying to prove he can cope with things on his own and the other determined to get him to accept help. Not forgotten are his daughter who is stuck in bed while recuperating from her operation, and his son who has a secret of his own. In the end, both come to terms with it, and work together to conquer it. Throughout the movie are terrific Johnny Cash songs including Paradise, and I'll Be A Diamond Someday. A movie with well-developed characters and an uplifting ending.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 19, 2006
Format: DVD
This was a good movie with a great message. Starring the man in black himself, Johnny Cash. The acting by Cash is great and the story is great. A must see for the entire family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John D. Aldridge on June 4, 2007
Format: DVD
This is an enjoyable film with it's heart in the right place. Johnny Cash is an illiterate Kentucky coal miner who moves his family to the big city. He is a decent and good man, but overwhelmed by the changes he must endure. With pluck, the help of friends, and the courage to admit to his deep secret...he prevails. This isn't a "big" film, but the style suits the story, creating a realistic portrayal. Cash is 100% convincing in his role. He is joined by two pros that add much to any film they are in: Eli Wallach and Brenda Vaccaro. Another bonus is the soundtrack, done by Johnny himself, featuring some of his down home songs that resonate with the story.
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