6.9/10
3,436
42 user 34 critic

Walking Tall (1973)

Trailer
1:11 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,303 ( 44)

IMDb at Comic-Con 2016

Visit our Comic-Con section to see what's trending, watch celebrity interviews, follow event coverage, browse cosplay photos, take our Fan IQ quizzes, and more.

Browse IMDb's Guide to Comic-Con

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 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 5.8/10 X  

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

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 7.5/10 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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Returning from a stint in the Air Force, Carrol Jo Hummer borrows money to buy a truck, hoping to make enough money hauling produce to marry Jerri Kane and set up housekeeping. He discovers... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Jan-Michael Vincent, Kay Lenz, Slim Pickens
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
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.
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
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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Elizabeth Hartman ...
Pauline
...
...
...
Grandpa (as Noah Beery)
...
Ed Call ...
Lutie McVeigh
Dominick Mazzie ...
Bozo
...
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 ...
Stickman
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agrios, skliros ekdikitis  »

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

The elected officials of McNairy County, Tennessee, the setting of the movie, were so embarrassed by the national attention brought to the corrupt county that they refused to allow the movie to be shot there. It was consequently shot in neighboring Chester County. The short-sighted officials didn't realize the amount of money it would bring into McNairy County, one of the poorest counties in Tennessee. However, when the remake, Walking Tall (2004) was announced, the county aggressively "courted" the filmmakers, trying to get the movie made in McNairy County. It was to no avail, as the remake was shot in Vancouver, BC. See more »

Goofs

When the townspeople arrive at the house and Buford comes down the stairs, the stairs are on the left-hand side. When he opens the door, the stairs are on the right. See more »

Quotes

Buford: [after arguing with Sheriff Thurman] There it is again.
Pauline Pusser: What?
Buford: The system... You gotta live my way or you don't live.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rules of Attraction (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
"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! :-)


9 of 11 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:
?