Walking Tall

Critics Consensus

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75%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,732

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Movie Info

Tennessee Sheriff Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker) carries a big stick after thugs beat him up and kill his wife (Elizabeth Hartman).

Cast & Crew

Joe Don Baker
Buford Pusser
Elizabeth Hartman
Pauline Pusser
Gene Evans
Sheriff Al Thurman
Noah Beery Jr.
Grandpa Carl Pusser
Brenda Benet
Luan Paxton
John Brascia
Prentiss Parley
Bruce Glover
Grady Coker
Arch Johnson
Buel Jaggers
Felton Perry
Obra Eaker
Joel Briskin
Associate Producer
Jack A. Marta
Cinematographer
Stan Jolley
Production Design
Phyllis Garr
Costume Designer
Ralph E. Black
Assistant Director
David "Buck" Hall
Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for Walking Tall

Audience Reviews for Walking Tall

  • Nov 10, 2010
    I saw this after seeing the remake, and I have to say that this one is a lot stronger. I really liked it, it's realistic, even with the violence. The beginning is a little slow, but it doesn't matter, the rest is great. I really liked this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2008
    Southern-fried justice, holding a big stick. This film was a delicious slice of Americana kick-ass and Joe Don Baker is amazingly effective as the human embodiment of a Timex watch, playing a real dude Bufford Pusser. Although this film is longish, it doesn't drag and it is jam packed with content and doesn't really loose momentum as it barrels down a hill made of Buford's desire to take the law into his own hands. AND it has a car chase, with a pick-up and a squad car, how great is that. There are some glaring political incorrectness that borders on offensive but it comes with the time as this film's era sticks out like a me at a hip-hop. Although the filmmaking was intentionally crude you can see the boom mic peeks into shots and hang out more times than you can count. That being said it's a classic. See this and for get about Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Sorbo, their films don't even have Bufford Pusser, and he's some kind of guy.
    Patrick D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 20, 2007
    Forget the remake featuring The Rock,cause it doesn't even compare to the original. However,this was weirdly marketed as a right wing screed upon its initial release in 1973(and became a surprise runaway boxoffice hit especially a huge following within the drive-in theatre circuit in the South where some theatres ran it for over a year).Walking Tall was a really tragic,graphically violent post-noir film based on the life and times of Tennessee county sheriff Buford Pusser. However,Joe Don Baker gives a riveting and powerful performance as Pusser who was determined and hell bent to force of crime and corruption out of his town at great personal expense,not to mention taking on the syndicate(The Dixie Mafia). Directed with an intentionally crude force by Phil Karlson,one of the toughest filmmakers of the 1950's and 1960's. Here,the film's grimness doesn't let up and neither does the scenes of raw language and strong graphic violence that gave this film a strong influence of the racial stride and hatred that went on in the South. Interesting note about this picture...It was produced by BCP Productions which was Bing Crosby's production company(yes folks,Bing Crosby was still around in 1973)and theatrically released through Cinerama Releasing Corporation. The theme song was done by none other than the great Johnny Mathis. Elizabeth Hartman(plays Pusser's wife) and Noah Beery also star in this runaway boxoffice hit which was one of the sixth highest grossing films of 1973 behind "The Exorcist", "American Graffiti", "Enter The Dragon",and "The Sting". The success of Walking Tall spawned two sequels "Walking Tall Chapter 2"(1975),and "Walking Tall:The Final Chapter"(1977),a short-lived television series and two prequels starring Dewayne "The Rock" Johnson and Kevin "Hercules" Sorbo.
    Mister C Super Reviewer

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