Playing Pool for Cash
Having returned to town for the first time in decades legendary pool player The Baron (Johnny Cash) is putting on an exhibition show when a young hustler going by the name of The Cajun Kid (Greg Webb) shows up and challenges him to a game. When the kid roles a wedding ring down the table which The Baron recognizes he goes looking for Dee Dee Stanley (June Carter Cash) who two decades earlier had been his woman and learns that the Kid is the son he never knew about. Seeing that his kid has talent but also a temper as well as a shady manager The Baron takes him under his wing, hitting the circuit with him as a mentor with the hope of bonding with him at the same time.
Let's just say right off the bat there are very few surprises when it comes to "The Baron and the Kid" a heart warming drama featuring husband and wife Johnny and June Carter Cash. We know that whilst the journey will be full of ups and downs including double crosses from others you know all will come good come the end of the movie. Basically "The Baron and the Kid" is just a simple heart warming movie made for those who are fans of Johnny Cash and enjoy pool.
But whilst the outcome of "The Baron and the Kid" is as predictable as night following day it has enough subplots and drama thrown in to the mix to make it entertaining. We have The Baron who we learn had a violent side and a drinking problem, we have The Kid with an anger problem and a wild side, we have Jack Beamer the shady manager who manipulates The Kid and there is even a romantic subplot involving a talented pool player played by Tracy Pollan. Again all of it is predictable but it fleshes out the story enough to keep it ticking over and entertaining.
Aside from that, well Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash deliver performances which are pleasant, not realistic but charming for those who seek wholesome entertainment rather than reality and grit. Plus Greg Webb and some familiar faces such as Claude Akins, Darren McGavin and Tracy Pollan all deliver the same level of performance to make it an even toned wholesome drama with director Gary Nelson choosing to keep things simple when it comes to the actual pool games.
What this all boils down to is that "The Baron and the Kid" is predictable from start to finish and not in the least bit gritty. But that is not what you watch the movie for as this is a wholesome movie with Johnny Cash delivering a pleasant performance as the father bonding with the son he never knew existed.