HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  Walking Tall Walk Softly and Carry a Big StickBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Joe Don Baker, Elizabeth Hartman, Noah Beery Jr, Dawn Lyn, Lurene Tuttle, Lynn Borden, Gene Evans, Felton Perry, Bruce Glover, Leif Garrett, Kenneth Tobey, Arch Johnson, Douglas Fowley, Red West, Sam Laws, Don Keefer, Ed Call, Logan Ramsey
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Retired wrestler Buford Pusser (Joe Don Baker) returns to his hometown to settle down with his family, as his wife Pauline (Elizabeth Hartman) wished him to give up his life of violence. So the first thing they do when they reach there is go to see his parents, and they are delighted to greet them, yet while they are happy that the Pussers will be close by, his mother warns him things are not quite the same as what they were before Buford left the first time. A meeting with an old friend who invites him out to a tavern just out of town appears to confirm this...

Buford finds his boyhood idyll has been overrun with gambling, prostitution and general corruption, and the rest is history, even if it didn't exactly play out the way that the fictionalised version did here, although it was perfectly true that he decided to run for Sheriff and clean up the town. Loosely based on a true story, Walking Tall was sort of like Dirty Harry set in the country, and although not as well recalled as the Clint Eastwood classic, it was a huge hit in its day, mostly at the drive-ins of the world where its capable but brutal hero could strike a nerve with the same crowd who would make Death Wish the success it was.

We could tell Pusser is basically a decent fellow because he loves his wife and kids and makes his black friend Obra (Felton Perry) a deputy - indeed, the social conscience that in many other "clean up this town" movies would take a back seat to the action was very prominent here, so that the filmmakers, who funnily enough were backed by Bing Crosby, could appeal to the audience's sense of justice both criminal and social. In action movies of the seventies there was a marked tendency to make sure the viewer was taught a lesson in doing what was right and standing up to the evildoers of the world, and few felt that more deeply than was in evidence here.

The villains, on the other hand, in contrast to a practically one man crusade, were everywhere, whether they're trying to run Buford's car off the road, making sure criminals get off on technicalities, or running illegal casinos and moonshine; once he's elected Sheriff he certainly has his work cut out for him. The film's strongest asset was in its casting of Baker, for the conviction he set about the role sold it in a production that was rather rude, crude, rough and ready otherwise. There is a certain amount of satisfaction to be gained from watching him beat the hell out of the baddies, in an "it's the only language they understand" kind of way, but no one takes a bigger beating than Buford.

Which did mirror real life to an extent, for regular attempts on Pusser's lfe and those of his loved ones were all too indicative of the kind of routine the Sheriff had to put up with in his drive to keep the crime out of the county, one of the poorest, and therefore most prone to criminal exploitation, in the United States. Buford himself died in suspicious circumstances the year after Walking Tall made him a worldwide name to be reckoned with; he might have been murdered, or it may have been a car accident, whatever the case it did prevent us from seeing him play himself in the sequels, of which there were two for the movies, as well as a watered down, semi-remake starring Dwayne Johnson. Like his home-made baseball bat, the original was primitive, but effective. Watch for: the old sheriff's car exploding before it crashes, the reading of the rights scene. Music by Walter Scharf, and listen for the theme song sung by, erm, Johnny Mathis (why not Bing?).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12231 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: