Walking Tall

1973 "Take your best shot... 'cause it'll probably be your last."
7| 2h5m| R| en
Details

Buford Pusser's a wrestler, whose wife wants him to settle down, so they go to his home town in Tennessee, where he plans to get into business with his father. But he is shocked to discover all sorts of graft and corruption going on. And when he is a victim of it and decides to strike back by running against the corrupt sheriff. And he wins and wages his own little war against them

Director

Producted By

Bing Crosby Productions

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Reviews

SnoReptilePlenty Memorable, crazy movie
Console best movie i've ever seen.
Dotbankey A lot of fun.
Neive Bellamy Excellent and certainly provocative... If nothing else, the film is a real conversation starter.
dejeffs I first saw this movie when it came out. Had me spell bound from the start. Joe Don Baker was terrific as Buford and I always wondered why he did not star in the following sequels? Can anyone out there answer my question.
Leofwine_draca Seeing WALKING TALL today for the first time, it's clear how just influential this film has been in the intervening decades. The story of one man clearing up the criminal element in his town has been done to death but here it feels fresh and electrifying; some might say that a fellow like Steven Seagal owes his whole career to this movie, with films like FIRE DOWN BELOW looking and feeling almost identical. The unique hook that WALKING TALL has is that it's based on a true story.Joe Don Baker stars in his best role as the larger-than-life Buford Pusser, a normal fight who stands up for justice and ends up becoming the sheriff of a small town in the process. It's an action picture with some incredibly violent set-pieces and showdowns, but it never forgets to focus equally on character and plotting, making it one of those rarities: an all-round action flick as every bit as good as a big budget mainstream Hollywood film. Sequels and a remake followed, but none could successfully re-capture the original's raw power.
A_Different_Drummer The movie was pretty good FOR THE TIME (more below). The IMDb reviews however are in some cases more entertaining than the movie. Some people see this as dated or some sort of "time capsule." This pretty much ignores the recent remake but, more importantly, also ignores the fact that the theme -- that of a gradual and steady corruption of a once-healthy town (village/city/country) does indeed happen, and happens more often than people acknowledge. Some people look at the star and go WHAA? -- who is this guy? OK, Joe Don Baker did not have the most spectacular career in Hollywood but he was a reliable asset for these kinds of films. And some people look at this and see merely a Charles Bronson knockoff, ie going to the theatre to vicariously taste the violence that was otherwise lacking in the 70s. Some truth to this, in its day this was very much a "guys" film, definitely not a "date" film, and it was indeed in the category of the Bronson flicks or the Billy Jack flicks. Remember that martial arts movies were barely known in N.A., and MMA did not exist. So if you wanted to see someone get thumped upside the head, this film would be on your short list. But all the above ignores the fact that this was a biography and THESE WERE NOT that common then, so, in that context, the context of a true story, the film becomes that much more interesting ... and that much more entertaining.
threerandot I just watched this one tonight and I am appalled at how much praise has been laid upon the title character of Bufford Pusser. If these were indeed the kinds of actions taken by the subject of this film, then those are highly questionable ones.The film is certainly well made, but it also seems to glorify violence as a way to solve a problem. Not that the answers to the problems of the town in the film easy ones.In the process of fighting for a better life for the people, it was a war that in the end, was for not. So many die in this story, including Pusser's wife, not to mention the family pet, that they lose more than they could ever hope to gain.Pusser's wife, played so well by Elizabeth Hartman, is really the only character who actually seemed to question her husband's actions and really exhibited any kind of intellect or thought to the possible results. If a thinking viewer is watching this film, they are going to question Pusser's actions and form the opinion that there could have been a better way then the easy way of resorting to violence.Pusser uses a gun, torture and intimidation. The same methods used by the hoodlums to torture a naked girl. He is no better... a moral cripple.And this seems to have been the American way for decades. That might makes right and that we are the "good guys". This is shameful behavior and to reward it as heroic is moral bankruptcy.Baker is good as Pusser and the film keeps you glued to your seat. The only failure of the film is the lack of presenting an opposing viewpoint. That violence doesn't solve anything. Is the small town in this film all "perfect" today? The scene where Leif Garrett is sitting next to his father's hospital bed with a rifle in his lap was definitely a face palm moment. America continues to be a violent nation because it teaches their young that such actions are "heroic". A very sad commentary on a nation that could hold so much more promise.A strong film that should really have elicited more controversy and criticism of the title character's actions.