The Walking Tall Trilogy


(DutchEngstrom) #1

“I remember when you used to walk tall, now it looks like you learned how to crawl!” blubbers Buford Pusser, in this largely fictionalized biography, the first of 3 films based on the purported exploits of this mega-Bubba, small town sheriff. The first, a redneck masterpiece directed by Phil Karlson, concerns a pro-wrestler who returns to his home town to find it is overrun with seedy gangsters and corrupt politicians. After a brutal beating, he decides to take the law(and a very big stick) into his own hands. This one is long on violence and action scenes, some of the best you’ll see in the genre. The fight scenes with the aforementioned stick, are still very jarring. Joe Don Baker was made for this part, the Bo’s Svenson and Hopkins(in the sequels) never investing the sympathy Baker drew out of the role. It seems quite novel to see an American non-dysfunctional family portrayal these days, and Elizabeth Hartman(wife) and Noah Beery Jr.(Buford’s father) do an admirable job. My personal favorites are Felton Perry(Magnum Force) and Bruce Glover(Diamonds are Forever) in supporting roles. There is some great faux-rock music, along with some rather large Afro’s, so the viewer will always know this is a 70’s flick. This might be the last time I’ve heard the hero say the “N” word in a film. Considering this was low-budget, it looks very well done, and this one made a huge amount of money. The sequels were not as good as this, but they had their moments, too.


(me) #2

I’m surprised anyone here actually likes Walking Tall. Walking Tall is based on true story and was actually filmed in Tennessee.


(Dorado) #3

Another “walking tall” film was made in 2004, this time starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
It’s nothing special though, the original was way better.


(ENNIOO) #4

[quote=“Dorado, post:3, topic:653”]Another “walking tall” film was made in 2004, this time starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
It’s nothing special though, the original was way better.[/quote]

Yes, I remember this one.

I think it did quite O.K at the U.K box office as I recall.


(DutchEngstrom) #5

Actually, the remake suprised me. I went in to it expecting to hate The Rock, but he did a fair job of acting. The film, tho, wasn’t a patch on the original.


(Silver) #6

[quote=“ENNIOO, post:4, topic:653”]Yes, I remember this one.

I think it did quite O.K at the U.K box office as I recall.[/quote]

Yes, it did do quite well i believe. I actually saw it at the cinema. A friend didn’t want to go alone and everyone else they knew cried off, so i had to go. I was expecting to really hate it, but ended up being surprised. The Rock was better than he had been in previous roles, and the film moved along briskly, never getting boring. But still, have to agree, the original was far superior :wink:


(DutchEngstrom) #7

[quote=“Silver, post:6, topic:653”]Yes, it did do quite well i believe. I actually saw it at the cinema. A friend didn’t want to go alone and everyone else they knew cried off, so i had to go. I was expecting to really hate it, but ended up being surprised. The Rock was better than he had been in previous roles, and the film moved along briskly, never getting boring. But still, have to agree, the original was far superior ;)[/quote] I think the sequel went straight to video, so that doesn’t bode well. Kevin Sorbo this time, I think, playing Buford. I think it might be interesting to see a film made about what Pusser’s real life was. I remember news stories at the time about his legal troubles, and how people in his area were growing tired of his “Big Stick” law enforcement. I think this was lightly glossed over in the original sequels, but the filmmakers didn’t want to kill the golden goose.


(me) #8

Havent seen Walking Tall remake but im sure it sucks, i’m sure the original is better.

“You got a warrant?”

“Yeah, I keep it in my shoe!”


(Angel Face) #9

A fine trilogy. I liked both actors that played Pusser in the original films. Svenson made the role his own by the time the third film rolled around and in the short lived tv series afterwards.

The real Pusser was supposed to have played himself in WALKING TALL PART 2, but was killed just before filming commenced.

Paramount recently released the first film in widescreen on DVD. The Rhino box set features all three in fullscreen. They look fine on smaller monitors, but on big screens, they look terrible.


(davidf) #10

THE first " walking tall " film with joe don baker is very good, not so keen on the sequels although " walking tall, the final chapter is entertaining.the 2004 remake with the rock was extremly average in my opinon although i would agree his performance was better than expected.there have also been a number of t.v movies featuring or based on buford pusser “the last amercian hero” (1978) with brian dennehy for example.


(Romaine Fielding) #11

Joe Don Baker is one of my favorite badass actors from the 70’s. I watched Walking Tall with a friend of mine just the other day. It was the first time I’d seen it in probably 20 years. Loads of fun. Joe Don Baker is in one of my favorite films of that era: Charley Varrick.

Walking Tall is an example of what is sometimes called “Hixsploitation” or Whitesploitation" That is, of course, a riff off of “Blaxploitation”.


(Angel Face) #12

[quote=“Romaine Fielding, post:11, topic:653”]Joe Don Baker is one of my favorite badass actors from the 70’s. I watched Walking Tall with a friend of mine just the other day. It was the first time I’d seen it in probably 20 years. Loads of fun. Joe Don Baker is in one of my favorite films of that era: Charley Varrick.

Walking Tall is an example of what is sometimes called “Hixsploitation” or Whitesploitation" That is, of course, a riff off of “Blaxploitation”.[/quote]

Well, they’re all riffs off the term “exploitation”. ;D

Baker was good as the one armed gunslinger in GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. His jokey scene with Bernie Casey was great. :smiley: If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. ;D


(Romaine Fielding) #13

[quote=“Angel Face, post:12, topic:653”]Well, they’re all riffs off the term “exploitation”. ;D

Baker was good as the one armed gunslinger in GUNS OF THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. His jokey scene with Bernie Casey was great. :smiley: If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what I’m talking about. ;D[/quote]

Holy smokes! Bernie Casey made a western? I have NOT seen it.
I’ll have to check this one out. I just recenly saw a very ejoyable blaxploitation movie with him called Hitman. He was great. Hitman was a blaxploitation remake of Get Carter with Michael Caine.


(Angel Face) #14

He’s the only black performer in the movie and he’s good here. It’ been on dvd for some time from MGM. George Kennedy plays the Chris character this time out. It looks like more money was spent on this one than the previous MAG sequel. Casey is also ace in the dramatic Race Hate movie, TICK…TICK…TICK…(1970) starring Jim Brown and directed by Ralph Nelson.


(Angel Face) #15

Casey is also great in DR. BLACK & MR. HYDE. I first saw that one on Elvira’s Movie Macabre back in the 80’s. :smiley:


(Romaine Fielding) #16

Hmmm. Of course, I’ve heard of all the “other” Mag 7 movies but I don’t think I’ve actually seen any (that I can remember). Thanks! I gotta see him in this.