Walking Tall (1973) - Rotten Tomatoes

Walking Tall (1973)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Walking Tall Photos

Movie Info

This film is the unabashedly manipulative story of real-life Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser. Pusser can either be regarded as a tireless champion of justice or a baseball-bat-wielding hooligan. When the town baddies seek vengeance by killing Pusser's wife, the you-know-what really hits the fan!
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

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Ed Call
as Lutie McVeigh
Joe Don Baker
as Buford Pusser
Gene Evans
as Thurman
Arch Johnson
as Jaggers
Noah Beery Jr.
as Grandpa
Brenda Benet
as Luan Paxton
John Brascia
as Prentiss Parley
Felton Perry
as Obra Eaker
Richard X. Slattery
as Arno Purdy
Lynn Borden
as Margie Ann
Edward Call
as Lutie McVeigh
Sidney Clute
as Sheldon Levine
Douglas Fowley
as Judge Clarke
Don Keefer
as Dr. Lamar Stivers
Sam Laws
as Willie Rae Lockman
Pepper Martin
as Zolan Dicks
John Myhers
as Lester Dickens
Logan Ramsey
as John Witter
Kenneth Tobey
as Augie McCullah
Lurene Tuttle
as Grandma Pusser
Wanea Wes
as Singer
Leif Garrett
as Mike Pusser
Dawn Lyn
as Dwana Pusser
Russell Thorson
as Ferrin Meaks
Gil Perkins
as Bouncer
Gene Lebell
as Bouncer
Carey Loftin
as Dice Player
Warner Venetz
as Stickman
Del Monroe
as Otie Doss
Lloyd Tatum
as Prosecutor
Vaudie Plunk
as Jury Foreman
Pearline Wynn
as Hassie Berlson
Ted Jordan
as Virgil Button
Red West
as Sheriff Tanner
Andrew J. Pirtle
as Prisoner
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Walking Tall

All Critics (12)

its broad strokes leave no room for anything so pussified or liberal as a moral compass

Full Review… | September 26, 2012
Film Freak Central

... the film was a sensation, becoming a big hit and spawning a whole industry of southern-fried vigilante lawman action pictures.

Full Review… | May 19, 2012

A new, and arguably improved, Walking Tall, starring pro wrestler-turned-actor, The Rock.

Full Review… | April 25, 2007
Princeton Town Topics

A hopelessly melodramatic revenge fantasy.

Full Review… | May 4, 2005
Lessons of Darkness

A macho 1970s classic

November 8, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

Overbearing, immensely popular pro-vigilante drama.

June 16, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Walking Tall

Of historic interest mostly, this true story was a jolt to the film industry at the time. Walking Tall forever reminded Americans that injustice was not to be tolerated. Of course, the American south was the setting, an easy target of injustice for audiences everywhere. [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/4e/Buford_Pusser.jpg/220px-Buford_Pusser.jpg[/img] Buford Pusser died at 37 of mysterious circumstances Walking Tall is a 1973 American action semi-biopic film of Sheriff Buford Pusser, a former professional wrestler-turned-lawman in McNairy County, Tennessee. It starred Joe Don Baker as Pusser. Not a great film, probably a bad one, but the message was clear..... people, though kind and generous, don't like to be victims. A true revenge flick. [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/6c/Pusser-home.jpg/220px-Pusser-home.jpg[/img] Buford home and now museum Based on Pusser's true story, it was a combination of very loosely based fact and Hollywood revisionism. It has since become a well known cult classic (with two direct sequels of its own, a TV movie, A Real American Hero, and a brief TV series, also called Walking Tall). [img]http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/14/MPW-7354[/img] SEE the true story here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epIr2nQhSxc&list=PL9C5D4B99079364CD [img]https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSMJFB4nEZyIh1mkTjARMT_HFdBrCDCS7YSjc0FyknkuJICX4Yz[/img] Known for his big stick, Buford Pusser REVIEWS: 80% I loved it. I still want one of those sticks. 90% one of the best revenge movies of the era [img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSl02--foH4GCMJ76PNQoGyvIhqaJNcLgP15zEI8Nq_yaTeQrSW[/img] NOTES: 1 The film only cost a half million dollars. It made 50 times that amount at the box office. 2 Pusser survived several assassination attempts. On February 1, 1966, Louise Hathcock attempted to kill Pusser during an on-site investigation of a robbery complaint at The Shamrock. Hathcock fired on Pusser with a concealed .38 pistol. Pusser returned fire and killed Hathcock. On January 2, 1967, Pusser was shot three times by an unidentified gunman. 3 Already a local hero, Pusser's "war" on the State Line Mob was brought to national prominence when according to Pusser, his wife, Pauline, was killed on August 12, 1967, during an assassination ambush intended for him. 4 Pusser died on August 21, 1974 from injuries sustained in a one-car automobile accident. Earlier in the day, Pusser had contracted with Bing Crosby Productions in Memphis to portray himself in the sequel to Walking Tall. That evening, Pusser, returning home alone from the McNairy County Fair in his specially and powerfully modified Corvette, struck an embankment at high speed, ejecting him from the vehicle. The car caught fire and burned. 5 Both Pusser's mother, Helen (1908-1987) and his daughter, Dwana (1961-) believed he was murdered. Dwana, who was a passenger in another car, came upon the scene of the accident moments later. No autopsy of Pusser's body was performed. As sheriff, Pusser survived seven stabbings and eight shootings. [img]http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/odH8scMjBVk/hqdefault.jpg[/img] CAST Joe Don Baker as Buford Pusser Elizabeth Hartman as Pauline Pusser Lurene Tuttle as Helen Pusser Noah Beery, Jr. as Carl Pusser Dawn Lyn as Dwana Pusser Leif Garrett as Mike Pusser Felton Perry as Obrah Eaker Rosemary Murphy as Callie Hacker Gene Evans as Sheriff Al Thurman Bruce Glover as Grady Coker Don Keefer as Dr. Lamar Stivers Felton Perry as Obra Eaker Pepper Martin as Zolan Dicks Ted Jordan as Virgil Button Red West as Sheriff Tanner Brenda Benet as Luan Paxton (as Brenda Benét) Arch Johnson as Buel Jaggers Russell Thorson as Ferrin Meaks Gil Perkins as 1st Bouncer Carey Loftin as Dice Player Warner Venetz as Stickman Gene LeBell as 2nd Bouncer Del Monroe as Otie Doss [img]http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6001/5928201984_063d62b6d6.jpg[/img] Mysterious death of 37 year old Buford Pusser Directed by Phil Karlson Written by Mort Briskin Stephen Downing John Michael Hayes (uncredited) Music by Walter Scharf Editing by Harry W. Gerstad Studio Bing Crosby Productions Distributed by Cinerama Releasing Corporation Release date(s) February 22, 1973 Running time 125 min. Budget $500,000 Box office $23,000,000 [img]http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3346/3191690425_50b6331dc1.jpg[/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

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 Caple
Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

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
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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