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Walking Tall (1973)

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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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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.

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Buford Pusser's last days as Sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee in 1970 and his subsequent death in 1974.

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Billy Jack (1971)
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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 »

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Action | Drama | Romance
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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.
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Cast

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

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 triquel 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

Taglines:

Take your best shot... 'cause it'll probably be your last. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agrios, skliros ekdikitis  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Obra Eaker is loosely based on Dave Lipford, the first black deputy sheriff in Tennessee. See more »

Goofs

If you look with attention, you can see Pauline's breast moving slightly due to her respiration, when she is lying in the ground after her killing by car shooters. See more »

Quotes

Obra: How does it feel to be part of the oppressed minority?
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Connections

Followed by Walking Tall (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking Tall
Sung by Johnny Mathis
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Walter Scharf
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User Reviews

 
"Do you have a warrant?" "Yeah. It's in my shoe!"
5 September 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you are a southern male who grew up in the 1970's, "Walking Tall" is your "Gone With The Wind". This 1973 movie is based on actual events in the life of Sheriff Buford Pusser of McNairy County, Tennessee during the 1960's. Though the screenplay takes some liberties with Pusser's story, it is an exciting account of one man taking on organized crime and corruption .

The story begins with Buford and his family moving back to his home town in McNairy County. Shortly after arriving, Buford realizes that his home town has changed. Gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging have taken over. Buford exposes the gambling operation to be corrupt and is brutally beaten and left for dead. He recovers and seeks vengeance using a big piece of lumber. He is arrested for his troubles. Buford is cleared of the charges and is soon elected Sheriff. He promises to rid the county of crime and corruption. The rest of the movie shows how difficult it was for Buford to follow through with his promise.

Buford Pusser is played by Joe Don Baker, who gives the performance of his career. Baker's Pusser faces the tragic events of the movie with a sense of sad but heroic nobility. The audience is able to feel what Pusser must have felt when these events actually happened through Baker's brave performance.

The story is ultimately a tragic tale of one man who walked tall and stood up against the forces of corruption. It is the rare action movie that makes you cheer and cry at the same time. This is essential viewing for anyone who loves true heroes.


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