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Walking Tall (1973) Poster

(1973)

Trivia

Cameo (Carey Loftin): the gambler that Sheriff Pusser catches cheating.
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Two actresses associated with this film went on to commit suicide: Elizabeth Hartman jumped from the 5th floor of a Pittsburgh apartment building in June 1987; Brenda Benet took her life in April 1982. She had been married to Bill Bixby.
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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.
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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.
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When the sequel to this film was announced, the title was to be "Buford" and the real Buford Pusser was supposed to play himself. However, Pusser's suspicious death before the film began convinced the producers to change the title to Walking Tall Part II (1975). Bo Svenson played Pusser.
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According to a biography of Buford Pusser written by Dwana Pusser (his daughter), Pusser never carried a wooden post, though he was known to pick one up whenever it was needed.
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Sheriff Buford Pusser was the technical consultant for this movie. On its sequels, Walking Tall Part II (1975) and Final Chapter: Walking Tall (1977), his father Carl Pusser was the technical consultant.
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The character of brothel owner Callie Hacker is loosely based on Louise Hathcock. She was shot and killed by Buford Pusser when she attempted to kill him, but the incident didn't take place in a club. It took place in a motel. Also, the attempt actually took place on February 1, 1966, not on the evening of a Christmas.
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The real-life Buford Pusser actually wanted Bo Svenson to play him in this film; however Svenson was unavailable and Baker was cast instead. When Baker turned down the sequels, the producers approached Svenson again, by which time Svenson was now available to play Pusser.
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Opened 6/15/73 in Seattle, Washington, at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Its ad campaign, whose slogan was "When was the last time you stood up and applauded a movie?", was one of the most successful in Hollywood's history.
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Obra Eaker is loosely based on Dave Lipford, the first black deputy sheriff in Tennessee.
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The role of Buford Pusser was originally offered to Kris Kristofferson.
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Sheriff Tanner was from Alcorn County, Mississippi. He usually assisted Buford in cases where the State Line Gang was running moonshine across state lines, since Alcorn County and McNairy County border each other.
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Buford's real-life daughter, Dwana Pusser, can be seen behind the thug during the racing scene in Walking Tall Part II (1975).
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The character of John Witter is loosely based on Carl "Towhead" White, who headed the stateline mob. It was believed that Buford Pusser had him assassinated. Louise Hathcock was his girlfriend.
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The film is one of several so-called "drive-in" flicks that were presented as true stories (à la The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Macon County Line (1974), Jackson County Jail (1976) and The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)) In each case, most, if not all, of what was portrayed on screen was outright fiction-- with the exception of "The Town That Dreaded Sundown", which was inspired by the Phantom Killer murders in Texarkana, Texas in 1946.
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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.
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The family dog was named Shep, who was killed defending Buford in an attack. To make up for the loss of the dog, Grandma gives the children a German Shepard pup as a Christmas gift.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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