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Walking Tall (1973)

6.9
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Reviews: 40 user | 31 critic

Based on the life of Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser whom almost single-handily cleaned up his small town of crime and corruption, but at a personal cost of his family life and nearly his own life.

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Title: Walking Tall (1973)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Pauline Pusser
...
...
...
Grandpa Carl Pusser (as Noah Beery)
...
Ed Call ...
Lutie McVey
Dominick Mazzie ...
Bozo
...
Margie Ann
Brenda Benet ...
Luan Paxton (as Brenda Benét)
...
Buel Jaggers
Russell Thorson ...
Ferrin Meaks
Gil Perkins ...
1st Bouncer
Carey Loftin ...
Dice Player
Warner Venetz ...
Stickman
Edit

Storyline

Buford Pusser's a wrestler, whose wife wants him to settle down, so they go to his home town in Tennessee, where he plans to get into business with his father. But he is shocked to discover all sorts of graft and corruption going on. And when he is a victim of it and decides to strike back by running against the corrupt sheriff. And he wins and wages his own little war against them. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Buford Pusser: the man who became a legend in our time. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Walking Tall  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Buford's actual house was turned into a museum after his death. The car that he died in, a red 1974 Corvette, is on display there. See more »

Goofs

When Sheriff Pusser addresses his deputies for the first time outside of the Sheriff's station, there is a boom mic visible at the top of the screen for the entire scene. See more »

Quotes

Buford: I'm gonna take, and take, and take, till they ain't got nothin left to give but BLOOD!... And I'm gonna take that, one drop at a time!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Red Zone Cuba (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking Tall
Sung by Johnny Mathis
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Walter Scharf
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Walk softly and carry a big stick."
31 July 2009 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Unfortunately the IMDb allows only comments up to 1000 words and I was so much taken in by WALKING TALL that my comment got longer, so please go to my entry in the message board, if you want to read the whole review! :-) ... :-))

I love movies with balls and brains and this is one of 'em! :-)

OK, I know this movies has its small shortcomings, because it does not belong to the category of over-financed Hollywood-junk (which is a movie-category established by the film industry (!) in the later 80ies and beginning 90ties consisting of movies costing anywhere from 50 to 200 million bucks and which look like most designer-stuff: well crafted but hollow), but to the category of a small independently financed B-picture. Don't get me wrong, this ain't a movie financed on a shoestring-budget, this is just one of those movies, where the producers did not have million's to burn. It's very decently made and 95% perfect, just here or there you think, well, they could have tried one more take or something similar. But anyway, are you going to the cinema to see a technically perfect movie and receive joy from seeing designer-tailored action-scenes, or do you go to the movies or buy a DVD to enjoy yourself with a movie full of balls and brain? If you belong to the 1st category, I suggest you save the time reading this and forget about watching this flick.

But if you belong to the later category, then this is something for you, you gonna enjoy this roller-coaster-flick! Especially if - as is the case with me - 70ies B-flicks are your cup of tea. They certainly are mine! I won't dwell here on the storyline of WALKING TALL (you can find details elsewhere here), it's probably enough to point out that the title is the program and that our hero's tag-line is "walk softly and carry a big stick" (or - as the old Latins said - "suaviter in modo, fortiter in re"). Yeah, that's what he does and he uses that big stick to clean house very properly.

I do not know, which part of the story is actually "fact" (based on incidents in the life of Buford Pusser) and which parts are fiction (that could be a lot, since the disclaimer reads that this picture is based on "incidents suggested by the life of BP", which sounds like something, but in fact can mean nearly everything or nothing at all), but IF just 50% of the story-line happened in some way or another, this guy must have had enormous luck and 7 lives. Already the incidents, when somebody tries to kill him, amount to at least 5!

The movie is quite brutal, at least for a flick made in the middle of the 70ies. Quite a lot of dead and quite a high number of severely beaten-up bodies, but there ain't that much of it on-screen. Just the first beating of our hero is really tense and was probably only outdone by Mel Gibson's Christ a couple decades later. Of course it looks a bit unrealistic to see Joe Don Baker in a T-shirt so soaked with blood, because anyone loosing that much of it would certainly be dead, but then again Phil Karlson had a point to make and wanted to make sure we'd get it: our hero had been severely wounded by the villains of the town and now he had a task to handle, do what a man has to do, simply WALK TALL!

This movie is pure 70ies magnetism, a wonderful ride into rural Americana, with so many classic (partly stereo-)types, wonderful original characters, hardly any cardboard ones, and actors indeed looking like someone you could meet at any corner of such a town. This is what lifts such classic productions over the Hollywood-product we get today: we do see real people doing things, that could at least be possible (while when we watch Die Hard IV everybody should know that 90% of the action-scenes there could simply never happen, because they are against the laws of physics). Here you got a lot of beat-ups, car-chases, shoot-outs, more beatings, cars driving in houses, all things that normally don't happen if the police does its job, but things that COULD happen, that are physically possible.

And they are staged with zest and verve by a veteran director in the twilight of his career, who took this job at the age of 66 and wanted to give it a last (which then was his penultimate) try. And he does deliver ALL the goods, pulls all triggers. He certainly knew this could very well be his last effort, so why not give the best. With 4 decades (!!) of movie-making experience, Phil Karlson (who also directed THE SILENCERS and THE WRECKING CREW-entries in the lovely Matt Helm-series and quite a couple very good noir's and western) certainly knew how to build up a good storyline and how to stage it as well as possible with whatever budget he had available.

...

ATTENTION ! This comment here is NOT COMPLETE, because the IMDb allows only 1000 words and I wrote more, so please go to my entry in the message board (if you liked to read my few cents) to get the whole review and to be able to comment on it! :-)


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What is the true story of Sheriff Pusser when he was carved up? pryorwm
Idea for a new Walking Tall Movie shannoncastleman
Dette er meir sannsynleg. CrazyWhores
The TV series starring Bo Sevenson as Sheriff Pusser shendoah-68
Love Luan gpdullius
Suicides Whedon_Fan
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