Walking Tall (1973)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  22 February 1973 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 3,255 users  
Reviews: 41 user | 34 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.


Watch Trailer
0Check in



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Sheriff Buford Pusser continues his one-man war against moonshiners and a ruthless crime syndicate after the murder of his wife in late 1960's Tennessee.

Director: Earl Bellamy
Stars: Bo Svenson, Luke Askew, John Davis Chandler
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

This is the story of Buford Pusser's final days, not only of his life but also as Sheriff. It seems that times are changing and the people of Pusser's town, who once adored him are now ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Starrett
Stars: Bo Svenson, Lurene Tuttle, Forrest Tucker
Walking Tall (TV Series 1981)
Crime | Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Sheriff Buford Pusser maintains law and order in McNeal County, Tennessee with the help of his loving family, loyal staff and a large club he calls his "pacifier."

Stars: Bo Svenson, Walter Barnes, Harold Sylvester
Walking Tall (2004)
Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A former U.S. soldier returns to his hometown to find it overrun by crime and corruption, which prompts him to clean house.

Director: Kevin Bray
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Scott, Johnny Knoxville
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

A man goes back to his hometown that is now overrun with crime and single-handedly takes justice into his own hands.

Director: Tripp Reed
Stars: Kevin Sorbo, Richard Dillard, Gail Cronauer
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

In Dallas, when the two prime witnesses against the drug-lord Octavio Perez are murdered by his gangsters in a safe-house, the testimony of the FBI agent Kate Jensen and three other agents ... See full summary »

Director: Tripp Reed
Stars: Kevin Sorbo, Yvette Nipar, Haley Ramm
Framed (1975)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A gambler kills the sheriff of a small village in an accident. But as nobody believes him, he is condemned to a long sentence in prison.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Joe Don Baker, Conny Van Dyke, Gabriel Dell
Billy Jack (1971)
Certificate: GP Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Ex-Green Beret hapkido expert saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and helps protect a desert "freedom school" for runaway.

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Clark Howat
Drama | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A vengeful Southern sheriff is out for blood after his wife is brutally killed by a pair of drifters. Low-budget film set in Georgia in 1953 and based on fact.

Director: Richard Compton
Stars: Alan Vint, Cheryl Waters, Max Baer Jr.
The Mechanic (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An aging hitman befriends a young man who wants to be a professional killer. Eventually it becomes clear that someone has betrayed them.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Charles Bronson, Jan-Michael Vincent, Keenan Wynn
A Real American Hero (TV Movie 1978)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Bufford Pusser is the Sheriff of a Tennessee County who must go against a former friend, and a group of women who use an old blue law to segregate a recently freed prostitute. To fight them... See full summary »

Director: Lou Antonio
Stars: Brian Dennehy, Forrest Tucker, Brian Kerwin
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A sadistic warden asks a former pro quarterback, now serving time in his prison, to put together a team of inmates to take on (and get pummeled by) the guards.

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter


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


A surprise hit when it premiered, Walking Tall carried the theme of one man standing up for his sense of right and wrong. Selmer, a small town in southwest Tennessee, served as the authentic background for the bio-pic of the heroic southern Sheriff. Joe Don Baker did an admirable job with the role, and the hugely violent film was a surprise hit. Former Sheriff Pusser himself was set to potray himself in the sequel, but he died in a car crash as he as returning from his contract signing in California. The sequel was filmed using Swedish actor Bo Swensen, and a Final Chapter three quell told of Pussers' demise. While the Walking Tall franchise will never be on any list of Classic Film, the original is a great slice of Americana, Circa '70s. It made Bakers' career and perhaps kicked the 'southsploutation' genre of that decade into gear. Written by rick rothermel

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He was going to give them law and order or die trying. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agrios, skliros ekdikitis  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opened 6/15/73 in Seattle, Washington, at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Its ad campaign, whose slogan was "When was the last time you stood up and applauded a movie?", was one of the most successful in Hollywood's history. See more »


When Buford is "busting up a still", there is a crew member crouched down beside the car. See more »


Obra: [to Buford after the trial] You had that jury ready to walk barefoot over hot coals!
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Laserblast (1996) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

you "boom mike" people don't understand
13 August 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

All you folks complaining that this is amateur film-making because the boom is visible in several shots don't understand how movies are made. In order to get good sound on dialog, the mike is hung very close to the subject. It is almost always captured on film, but in the area which is not meant to be seen by an audience, as the square film frame is supposed to be matted at top and bottom by the projectionist when shown in a theater, or by the technician when transferring film to video.

In the case of Walking Tall, whoever supervised the transfer to video did so "open matte", meaning they transfered the ENTIRE film frame without proper matting, hence the visible boom. This was not carelessness on the part of the filmmakers, but on the part of whoever put it out on video. You'd see microphone booms in Star Wars if it were transfered to video this way.

When I saw Walking Tall in the theater, it did not have visible booms. Blame the video release, not the filmmakers.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What is the true story of Sheriff Pusser when he was carved up? pryorwm
Idea for a new Walking Tall Movie shannoncastleman
The TV series starring Bo Sevenson as Sheriff Pusser shendoah-68
Love Luan gpdullius
Dette er meir sannsynleg. CrazyWhores
Suicides Whedon_Fan
Discuss Walking Tall (1973) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: