By pure coincidence, I watched the Jack Nicholson movie The Border and then listened to the entire The Ghost of Tom Joad album from start to finish for the first time in the span of a few days.
When I heard the song “Across the Border,” I thought for sure it was a cover of the song “Across the Borderline” by Freddy Fender that plays at the end of The Border. It isn’t quite but it sure bares striking similarities in both lyric and melody.
I took to the Internet to find out more and according to IMDB, “The Line” (also from The Ghost of Tom Joad) is inspired by The Border. A quick Google search didn't result in anything more concrete aside from another reference on a blog post, but even without evidence, it's not hard to believe that “The Line” is heavily influenced by The Border – although the story the song tells sure is a lot more coherent than the one the movie tells.
Between “The Line” and “Across the Border” it makes me ask the question is The Ghost of Tom Joad the Springsteen album most heavily influenced by cinema? He's made it clear in interviews that it’s The Grapes of Wrath the movie, not the book, that created its indelible influence on him. Also, check out “My Best Was Never Good Enough” which quotes lines from Forrest Gump.