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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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grandpa (as Noah Beery)
Ed Call ...
Lutie McVeigh
Dominick Mazzie ...
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 ...


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


The all time box office champ! 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
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Did You Know?


There is only one scene in the entire movie where Sheriff Pusser's car can be seen with a rear view mirror. When he arrives at the courthouse just before meeting John Witter. See more »


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 »


Buford: [Seeking Obra's advice] Any Suggestions?
Obra: Yup... Do not beat your head against the wall, cause it will probably fall on ya. Two, Lone wolves are easy prey... Organized, there's strength and unity... And three, you are a damn fool Buford, for tryin' to do what I know you goin' to.
See more »


Referenced in Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Buford Pusser is the best!
27 August 2002 | by (Hawaii) – See all my reviews

One great movie! Joe Don Baker does a great job portraying Buford Pusser. This movies deals with a man that has just givin up pro wrestlng because he is sick and tired of being controlled by someone else. He returns home to Tennessee, and finds the same thing going on. His mother warns him to ignore it, but by accident, he finds out the hard way how these people operate. His battle is an uphill one. First, he is jailed for robbing the local bar. He acts as his own defense at the trial and wins. Then the local sheriff tries to kill him, and is killed himself. Once Pusser is elected sheriff, the fight really begins. He eventually cleans out the graft and corruption in McNairy County, and then he is ambushed, and his wife is tragically killed. Pusser finally has one last showdown with the people at the Lucky Spot. I would like to have seen Joe Don Baker do the other two movies. This movie is a real tear jerker at the end.

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