HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
Sweat
Quiet Place Part II, A
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
   
 
Newest Articles
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
   
 
  Walking Tall Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick
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, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
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 13479 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: