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Real American Hero
Real American Hero
Actor: Brian Dennehy; Forrest Tucker;Ken Howard
Director: Lou Antonio
Genres: Drama, Television
UR     1978     1hr 34min


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Movie Details

Actor: Brian Dennehy; Forrest Tucker;Ken Howard
Director: Lou Antonio
Genres: Drama, Television
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama
Studio: Westlake
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/01/1978
Release Year: 1978
Run Time: 1hr 34min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Brian Dennehy gives a great portrayal of Buford Pusser.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The real life hero, Buford Pusser has been portrayed by Joe Don Baker, Bo Svenson, and the great Brian Dennehy, who gives the best performance in this wonderful made for TV movie. I highly recommend it, even to those who haven't even heard of Buford Pusser because Dennehy gives a performance that is not to be missed. Plus the action is top notch. A wonderful movie starring the wonderful Brian Dennehy."
Walking Tall Too
Eric Howard | kansas city, Mo | 05/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This made for TV movie has the look of a series pilot, a series did come out soon after, but filmed in Cailifornia. This film was made on the same locations as the Walking Tall films and has much of the same feel. The story is fictional but is inspired by Buford Pusser's unconventional law enforcement activities. Brian Dennehy is more big than tall but he does exibit the compassion vs. rage of Sheriff Pusser as well as his ability to use the law as well as work outside it to do his job.

During Pusser's carreer his most deadly foes were Louise Hathcock and Carl White, who both owned dives on the Tn/Miss stateline. In Walking Tall Pusser dealt with a fictional version of Hathcock- called Callie. In this film his foe is Danny Boy played Ken Howard. Danny Boy seems be be a fictional, but somewhat more likeable version of White, who was a lieutenant in the so-called Dixie Mafia. Both White and Danny Boy run bars that are busted up by Pusser and both White/Danny Boy hire killers to ambush Pusser on the hiway. In real/reel life Pusser, not bothering to to get a warrent, pays White/Danny boy a visit and gives an unauthorized butt kicking.

Dispite being made for TV this film has plenty and believable violence. It is also fast moving. Don Williams provides a good song, actually another verse of the Johnny Mathis song, written by Don black that was featured in 1973's Walking Tall. In many ways this is the true Walking Tall II."
Buford's ongoing problems with intergroup relations.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 03/09/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Burly Brian Dennehy, despite his failure to maintain the local dialectic condiment in his speech, nonetheless makes for a believable physical personification of the real life Buford Pusser of Selmer, Tennessee, the sheriff who finds it easier to follow his own rules while contending with the local criminal element than to abide by the constraints of probable cause. This particular entry in the series relating of Pusser's deeds was made for television with its original title being "Letter of the Law", and chronicles how Buford decides to use very old county laws and statutes which have not been revoked or superseded in order to keep control of his office against the opposition of well meaning citizens and of lawbreakers. The script is actually rather leisurely in spirit with a number of scenes written in the main to supply local colour, including some humourous and musical moments, and there is some opportunity for character development, but the film's mass media lineage has infected its climactic minutes, with formulaic actions abounding as Pusser singlehandedly attempts to vanquish a surfeit of felons. Ken Howard dominates his scenes as bootlegging Danny Boy Mitchell, primary adversary of the freewheeling sheriff, while Sheree North gives us an effective turn as an aging ex-harlot freshly released from prison after seven years for killing her procurer, and who subsequently meets resistance from local bluenoses who wish for her to go elsewhere, and Forrest Tucker produces a smooth performance as Buford's father, but Lane Bradbury as a blemished sheriff's office employee, sinks 'neath the freight of her mawkish lines.

No Ordinary Gentleman.
Betty Burks | Knoxville, TN | 09/14/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This movie started out an an episode of "Dukes of Hazzard" with the police chasing an orange vehicle, only this was a Vols van full of drunk teenagers. It leads Sheriff Burford Pusser and two of his deputies on a chase around the curby narrow roads of McNairy County, Tennessee. When finally stopped, they found two boys dead and two girls blinded by poison liquor they bought at Danny's bar in Selmer. It was home-brewed rotgut moonshine. Buford carreid a big stick which he used to destroy their cache of bottles of spirits, and was disliked by his Gestapo tactics. He believed in using a violent manner of taking the law in his own hands, by destroying a private business. They called it vigalante justice with an illegal search. Buford, it's said, has no common sense and goes off half-cocked. His motivation was in question as he appeared not to respect the law.

He was pushed into using crazy old laws to show them the importance of obeying the law, such as arresting all the old ladies playing bingo because it was illegal gambling they had been doing for twenty years. He alienating Danny, owner of the bar, in front of a crowd, destroying his personal belongings to humiliate him, using an obsolete law of 1907. He ticketed the judge's car because of the law stating that between 1888 and 1906, all motor vehicles are horseless carriages. Danny had a vendetta against the sheriff: "I started this and am going to finish it."

The holier-than-thou church women tried to force Buford to do something about an ex-con female who had returned to her homeplace. "I was born here -- no other place to go," she told Buford. She had been spurned at the church and the grocery store, so Buford stepped in and took her to the community dance.

After Buford had confronted Danny, his enemy, both involved in a brutal beating, he almost drowned Danny by kicking him off the bridge into shallow water. The sherrif walked into the trap Danny set for him and was shot, but his self-preservation aided in his living to be ambushed again, proving his courage. And studpidity. They had good vocal coaches, as they everyone had an authentic Tennessee accent, something hard to do if you don't live here.

The song Don Williams sang at the beginning and end of this real story sounded like one of the Appalachian ballads they sang at t he Bristol Sessions and in the Mountains of East Tennessee."