FIN STREAM REVIEW: First Mrs. Johnny Cash, Vivian Liberto, finally gets the spotlight she deserves

There’s a mystifying, incredible story here that shows the life, trials and tribulations felt by Johnny Cash’s first wife, Vivian Liberto.

When they were just young kids, Cash and Vivian met in 1951 and found themselves deeply, madly in love. Cash was an Air Force Cadet, and the two kept of constant correspondence.

They married and had four daughters, but Vivian has really never been highlighted as a major part of Cash’s life or story. This documentary opens the curtain and shows us exactly who Vivian was.

Through interviews, the film Walk The Line and so much more, Vivian was made out to be a shrill woman, and someone who was an outlier in Cash’s life, which isn’t true.

Here, we see the woman from before Cash and June Carter married, and I realized just how difficult it must have been for Liberto to deal with Cash’s fame, and the way he moved on after her.

The media treated her terribly, his prominence constantly made her on edge as she was a private person, and she cared for their four children with an undying affection.

This untold story of Vivian and all she did for Cash’s first four children — and what she endured as his ex-wife — is pretty upsetting to see. Having her humanized makes her story more important than ever before, and I feel so much empathy having now understood her story.

4/5 Stars

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