© 1973 Bing Crosby Productions

Walking Tall (1973)

I knew the actor John Don Baker from a couple of pretty lousy movies he is in that were lampooned on “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” so my expectations were pretty low when I sat down to watch Walking Tall, the biopic of Bufford Pusser, a retired pro wrestler who returns to his hometown in rural Tennesse to find it overrun with corruption, and launches a one-main campaign against the bad guys. Although the crimes, namely running illegal booze and gambling, seem tame by today’s standards, Pusser is absolutely disgusted. If there is a role that Baker was born to play, this is it, and it is his cocksure strutting, good ol’ boy charm and unbridled rage that makes the film worth watching.  Bruce Glover (father of Crispin) plays Pusser’s right-hand man. The story seems to be partially fictionalized or at least exaggerated, but supposedly the real Pusser survived several assassination attempts which were just as dramatic as shown in the film.

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Random Quote

“And what do I know of morals and ethics? Only what I read in novels. And as I only read thrillers, that doesn't amount to much.”
-Miss Meacham (May Hallatt)
from Separate Tables