HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  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 13192 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: