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Walking Tall Reviews

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Super Reviewer

February 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.

Super Reviewer

November 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.
Patrick D

Super Reviewer

February 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.
September 6, 2008
This movie was better than I expected, it's much cooler than the new one too. The only thing that I didn't like was how long it was, the beginning could have been shortened. Anyway, it's pretty cool, and vigilante justice becoming law is awesome.
November 12, 2007
this is much better than the rock's remake.
it is the true story of a small town sheriff fighting the good old boy gang that is ruining his town.

there is no comedy thrown in here to gain some viewers. it is violent and messy.

of course it's 1973 so it's a little cheesy.

this was actor joe don baker's only claim to fame. this was a huge hit in 1973.
October 13, 2008
Excellent movie. Not completely fact based, but the inaccuracies are minimal. Like the age of the kids at the time and such. Overall a MUST SEE ! I believe Buford is the inspiration for The Shield and all the ones like it.
May 3, 2008
Great raw movie. You truly feel the anger and grief portrayed by Joe Don Baker in this film.
One of the best Baker films ever, if not THE best. Plenty of action, women, humor and grief. At the end you will be pissed off, yet sad for what Bufford had gone through. This Is a classic, and you will want to add this one to a home collection.
February 2, 2008
amazing! it was a lot more violent and bloody than i imagined and way better than the version with the rock
June 27, 2007
Made 2X4 carrying vigilante sherriffs chic, even though Joe Don Baker makes Sly Stallone look like Olivier.
February 7, 2007
This one is better than the newest one, The Rock is great but just not in this movie. some things are better left alone
July 19, 2006
A movie about how closed mined folks can be and the strength of one man with conviction to uphold moral character and law.
February 21, 2014
want to watch gain after 25 years.
February 15, 2014
Southern-fried vigitantism based on a true story
April 24, 2006
About a sheriff (Joe Don Baker) that dishes out vigilante justice to the local crocks using a big stick instead of guns. The movie soon gets more personal as his families lives starts to be threatened due to Bufords vigilante methods and he seeks justice for the killing of his wife.

It's sort of like a country version of Dirty Harry. Very macho type of film with some good drama thrown in.
Carlton M Raines
October 12, 2013
A much underrated actor Joe Don Baker plays ex boxer turned sheriff who decided to stop, drugs,crime and prostitution in his own town, Based on a true story, On Sherriff Pusser, who; s daughter has just written a book about him,Some people viewed him as a lawless thug, others a hero, but Baker takes you back in time to live the gritty story with absolute relish.A classic in every way, Though several attempts were made on his life,Pusser's death was never explain and foul play was suspected. It's a great story actions by a sheriff that could not be gotten away with now, but then it was a different story.
August 3, 2013
I loved it. I still want one of those sticks.
May 23, 2013
A devistatingly dull mess.
January 19, 2012
one of the best revenge movies of the era
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