Walking Tall

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Based on the real life experiences of Sheriff Buford Pusser's lone fight against gambling, moonshining, and prostitution in an effort to make Tennessee's McNairy County the sort of place decent folks could live. He cudgels his opposition into submission with the huge stick he carries wherever he goes, and suffers a few hundred stitches, a couple of shootings, and a dead wife in return. But he comes through walking tall, leaving a trail of cardboard villains splattered in his wake. As much as anything, the film is about Nixon's silent majority. They emerge at the end once the enemy are scattered or dead, to tear down and burn the local gambling saloon-cum-cathouse. Even more depressing is that American readers of Photoplay voted the film their 'Favorite Motion Picture of the Year'. It's an interesting example of how a stock Western plot can assume some fairly explicit political ramifications once it is transposed to a modern setting (not that that is any recommendation).

Release details

Duration: 125 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Phil Karlson
Screenwriter: Mort Briskin
Cast: Joe Don Baker
Elizabeth Hartman
Gene Evans
Noah Beery
Rosemary Murphy
Brenda Benet
John Brascia
Bruce Glover
Arch Johnson
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