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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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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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Earl Macklin robs a bank owned by the mob, serves his prison time and is released, only to start a private war against the crime outfit that owned the bank.

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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?


The character Callie Hacker is loosely based on Louise Hathcock. She was shot and killed by Buford Pusser, but the incident didn't take place in a club. It took place in a motel. See more »


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 »


Buford: [to cashier at the Lucky Spot who eyes a shotgun] Mister, you're hand is shaking. If you miss, you'll never shoot again.
See more »


Spoofed in Walking Small (1992) See more »


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

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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.

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