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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.

Director:

Phil Karlson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Don Baker ... Buford Pusser
Elizabeth Hartman ... Pauline
Leif Garrett ... Mike
Dawn Lyn ... Dwana
Noah Beery Jr. ... Grandpa (as Noah Beery)
Lurene Tuttle ... Grandma
Ed Call Ed Call ... Lutie McVeigh
Dominick Mazzie Dominick Mazzie ... Bozo
Lynn Borden ... Margie Ann
Brenda Benet 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 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:

He was going to give them law and order or die trying. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Walking Tall See more »

Filming Locations:

Henderson, Tennessee, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$23,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Buford's actual house was turned into a museum after his death. The car that he died in, a red 1974 Corvette, is on display there. See more »

Goofs

When Pusser is in the morgue you can clearly see a boom coming in from off screen. Then in the next scene outside you again can clearly see a microphone poking up from below. See more »

Quotes

John Witter: [to Buford] Ya know, ideals and realties are very far apart. One day you're gonna see that son. And if ya don't, someone's gonna point it out to you... CLEARLY!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the UK cinema version was uncut the 1988 Vestron video version was cut by 29 secs by the BBFC to heavily edit a scene where a woman is whipped and closeup shots of her wounds. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #30.62 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

Forget the Rock remake
1 April 2004 | by movieman_kevSee all my reviews

The fact that the remake of this classic is opening in a few days persuaded me to review the original Joe Don Baker ass-kicker of a movie. Baker will always be in my mind as Buford Pusser, a man who chooses to walk tall no matter what the consequences that may befall. After retiring from wrestling, he returns home with his wife, Elizabeth Hartman (Edwina in Clint Eastwood's strangest film "the Beguiled), and children, Dawn Lyn and Leif Garret (heh) in tow, only to find corruption. Luckily Buford carries a BIG stick and knows how to swing it. At a tad over two hours, this film is almost 2 times the film that the remake is time-wise, but a million times better than it entertainment and story-wise. A tad dated, but it still holds up pretty well

My Grade: A


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