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A Real American Hero (1978)

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 »



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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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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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Stunts (1977)
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After a stunt man dies while he is involved in the making of a motion picture, his brother takes his place in order to find out what really happened.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Til Johnson
Danny Boy Mitchell
Carrie Todd
Lane Bradbury ...
Debbie Pride
Mick Rodgers
Ed Call ...
Grady Coker (as Edward Call)
W.O. Smith ...
Julie Thrasher ...
Jason Hood ...
Ann Street ...
George Boyd ...
Lloyd Tatum
Maureen Shannon ...
Amelia Biggins (as Maureen Burns)
Charlie Briggs ...
Miles Conway


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 he uses other old laws that aren't relevant today. Is he ready to face opposition, or will there be any? Written by George Britt <georgebritt@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama


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Release Date:

9 December 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hard Stick  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ed Call who plays Grady Cole in A Real American Hero, plays Buford Pussers high school friend in the original Walking Tall (1973). See more »


[opening narration]
Buford Pusser: The wrong kind of people have had their say for too long and I want to remind them that somewhere in this world there is a little law and order left - to let them know in the only way their kind understands, that they can't bribe or threaten their way and they will damn well pay pay dearly for every crime they commit.
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Followed by Walking Tall (1981) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Buford's guide to law and order
17 August 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Tame TV version of the "Walking Tall" Sheriff with the name you don't forget - Buford Pusser - played by renowned tough guy Brian Dennehy in one of his first screen appearances. Dennehy finds himself on his last warning after unlawfully conducting a search of a local disco in which he believes illegally distilled liquor is being sold. Told to shape up or ship out by the local magistrate, Dennehy elects to become the law's most abiding exponent, and enforcer, penalising anyone for the most trivial and often antiquated infringement to make his point and mete out a unique brand of justice by a thousand cuts.

Dennehy is okay as the one-man band, essentially no different to most of his characterisations, Ken Howard also watchable as the smarmy local bootlegger who finds himself the target of Dennehy's vendetta. Most notable amongst the cast is the sultry Sheree North, who had a string of memorable roles in her later career, here playing a former prostitute who served time for murdering her pimp. Dennehy takes on her cause as she struggles to re-adjust, shunned by the local ladies' club who treat her as persona non-grata.

Low key TV drama is light on violence (nothing more than a bit of fisticuffs, intimidation and jukebox smashing), but heavy on the noble causes proffering the justice to those who deserve it, and comeuppance for those don't approach to law enforcement. If you like that sort of thing, or have some regard for the minor cult hero Buford Pusser, then "Real American Hero" could be worth the watch.

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