I Walk the Line

Synopsis: Henry Tawes is the sheriff in a small town in Tennessee. A man of strong moral fibre, he is always quick to judge others and follows the law zealously. Then he meets Alma, a young beautiful girl who turns his world upside down. Unable to ignore his feelings, he starts having an affair with her. But in a small town nothing is secret for long.
Genre: Drama
Director(s): John Frankenheimer
Production: Columbia Pictures
97 min




do you hear me?

Your wife says don't forget

bring home the corn.

You goin' out

to Dorfin's place?

Where are you now,



Sheriff, do you hear me?


I keep a close watch

on this heart of mine

I keep my eyes wide open

all the time

I keep the ends out

for the tie that binds

Because you're mine

I walk the line

I find it very, very easy

to be true

I find myself alone

when each day is through

Yes, I'll admit

that I'm a fool for you

Because you're mine

I walk the line

As sure as night is dark

and day is light

I keep you on my mind

both day and night

And happiness I've known

proves that it's right

Because you're mine

I walk the line

You've got a way

to keep me on your side

You give me cause for love

that I can't hide

For you I know I'd even try

to turn the tide

Because you're mine

I walk the line

I keep a close watch

on this heart of mine

I keep my eyes wide open

all the time

I keep the ends out

for the tie that binds

Because you're mine

I walk the line

Because you're mine

I walk the line

Because you're mine

I walk the line

Oh, step on it, Buddy. Come

on, we can go faster than this.

Oh, the sheriff's car.

We're gonna get beat,


Oh! Oh! Oh!

Buddy, oh!

You all right?

Yes, sir.

Get up outta there.

Yes, sir.

Who's in the bushes?


Somebody run off.

Oh, well, that was Buddy,

but he ain't but a kid.

He just gets scared, you know,

like kids will with the law.

He have a license? Oh, he

wasn't driving. I was driving.

- Oh.

- Uh-huh.

- Your license.

- Um, you see,

Buddy and me was hangin' around

the house, you know, nothin' to do.

And, uh, he found

these here alligator shoes.

Wait, I'll show you.

Just a minute.

See, he found these here

alligator shoes up on a hillside,

and he put 'em on and he

started playin' like a boy will.


Sir, my license

ain't here.

- What's your name?

- Alma McCain.

Where do you live?

Up on Gatesboro Road.

We ain't been there long.

We was livin'

in Loomis Canyon.

- Who's we?

- My pa and me and Buddy and Clay.

Clay's almost 18.

They ain't home now.

They're workin'.

- Where do they work?

- Factory.

But it's workin',

and only for a while.

And we think that's

real fine for us.

That's real fine.

Mm-hmm. Uh, they're at

Kingman. They make pot handles.

You got a ma?

No, sir.

I do the cookin' and cleanin'

and look after Buddy though.

Well, maybe you don't know it,

but the way I seen it,

there was a boy

drivin' this truck.

And you're sure

not a boy now, are ya?

No, sir. No.

I'd appreciate it

you didn't arrest Buddy,

as I'm responsible

for him.

And, uh, well,

he's real young.

Well, I-I'd just

appreciate it, that's all.

Get in.

Tell your daddy

that Sheriff Tawes said,

"People who drive

oughta get a license...

and do it

in a proper manner."

I will, sir.

I really will.

And I'm much obliged

to you, Sheriff.

And, uh,

you best tell your brother...

to start wearin' shoes

his size.

Yes, sir.

Got a riddle for ya,


Hmm? You know where man learn to talk?

'Fraid not. Man learned to

talk listenin' to parrots.

Oh, it's just

a fool thing.

Eat your beans, Grampa.

You see, people have to teach

the parrot, so it can't be.

Dog's barkin' all night.

It's Andy's dog.

Gettin' old though.

Henry, you want

more gravy?

Sybil, I'll make more gravy

for you and the sheriff.

Edith Owens's brother's

in the gospel group,

and there's gonna be a

gospel fest next weekend.

I didn't hear ya.

Edith Owens's brother's

in the gospel group.

That's real fine, ain't it? Real fine.

Well, it's easier

for us here, ain't it?

That's just fine

for us all, don't it?

Now tell me again,

what did he say to you?

Well, he asked my name.

You just say your name? I

just say I'm Alma McCain.

And what did he say to that?

Exactly what did he say?

Um, he asked me

what you did.

And what'd you tell him,


Well, I-I tell him

what you did.

I tell him you made

pot handles.

You mention Georgie?

No, I didn't say

nothin' about Georgie.

You get the sugar?

Yes, sir.

He see the sugar?

Oh, I don't know.

You sure?

I didn't see nothin'.

Well, we don't buy sugar

in Shelton no more.

Well, maybe he did see the sugar, but,

well, I didn't see him see the sugar.

All right.

Then what'd he do?


How do you know he smelled

you most?

How do you know he didn't

smell the whiskey most?

I don't know. He just

didn't seem to, that's all.

She's wearing violet,

not whiskey.

Hey, shut up,

you hear me?

- Did he touch you?

- Huh?

I said,

did he touch you?


I bet he wanted

to touch her though.

He wanna touch you?

I don't know.

If we lose

that out there,

we don't have

that still,

we ain't

got nothin'.

Might as well

be n*ggers.



Yeah, that'll be

all right, home.

Mornin', Sheriff.


You say he's giving you

real trouble.

Well, all right,

calm down.

Sheriff, Mrs. Wesson's

on the line.

She says you best

get out there fast.

Old man Linton's plumb loco

about them cuttin' down that tree.

He'll be comin' over,

Mrs. Wesson.

He is hurryin',

Mrs. Wesson.

Bye. You sure that tree's on her lot?

We checked the deed.

She's got every right

to cut that tree down.


I forgot to tell you...

there's a federal man

in town.

- Come here?

- No, he, uh,

was talkin' to Kelly in the pool

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Alvin Sargent

Alvin Sargent (born April 12, 1927) is an American screenwriter. He has won two Academy Awards in 1978 and 1981 for his screenplays of Julia and Ordinary People. His most popular contribution has been being involved in the writing of most of the films in Sony's Spider-Man film series (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the first exception to this). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "I Walk the Line" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/i_walk_the_line_10530>.

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