April 1, 2004 |
Back in 1973, no one expected "Walking Tall" to be a hit. It was a stripped-down, ultra-violent revenge drama, based on the true story of Buford Pusser, the crusading Tennessee sheriff who defended justice swinging a serious piece of lumber. But the film became a phenomenon with audiences, "a response to people being sick of crime and politicians like Richard Nixon," says Joe Don Baker, who played Pusser. "They just wanted to take a stick and beat up on the government."