The Boys from Alabama
September 27, 2004 10:38 AM   Subscribe

With the DVD of Walking Tall hitting stores today, it might be nice to read the legend of the real sheriff Buford Pusser, six-feet and six-inches of Alabaman, two-by-four wielding, vigilante justice. Actually, it's not the first time this story's been told. The 1973 version of Walking Tall is now considered a classic (in some circles).
What's cool is that Alabama-bred country rockers Drive By Truckers have devoted not one, but two songs on their new album The Dirty South to debunking the myths surrounding this folk hero
posted by UncleDave (8 comments total)
I've been told that the movie Walking Tall, inexplicably starring The Rock, blows goats. But the band, and that new album, frickin' rocks donkey balls. Definitely worth checking out.

Oh, and this is my first FPP (please be kind)
posted by UncleDave at 10:42 AM on September 27, 2004

My advertising/marketing radar is going on the blink for this post.

But I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:07 PM on September 27, 2004


I didn't mean for that post to come off as a plug necessarily. I am certainly not, repeat not, recommending that anyone needs to see any movie starring The Rock. I just thought it was interesting that this guy (an Alabama sheriff) was deemed worthy of having two flicks about his life, and that somebody else is waging a campaign, albeit a limited one, to discredit the tale.
posted by UncleDave at 12:38 PM on September 27, 2004

I know nothing about Pusser, but I'll endorse the Drive By Truckers all day long. Fine band.
posted by mojohand at 12:38 PM on September 27, 2004

I doubt we're in their target demographic, Stan.
posted by leotrotsky at 1:48 PM on September 27, 2004

With a name like Pusser, he'd have to either be a total badass or the town punching bag. The combination of Buford and Pusser, sheesh, did his parents hate him or what?

Is this a MetaShill post? I don't know but its kind of cool anyway.
posted by fenriq at 1:51 PM on September 27, 2004

I knew the ER nurse who treated him after one of his exploits.

Remember in the first movie where he got beat up there toward the end, and came out of the hospital to confront the bad guys and the town folks all showed up honking their car horns in support?

Never happened, he was busy bleeding back in ER after his beating. The story's also that while he carried a stick it wasn't near as big as anything shown in the movies. Such is the way of myth.

"Moonshining" back in the day in Tennessee was a big business. The term refers to not just making it, but smuggling and selling - in the latter case often name-brand liquor into dry counties. By the time I'd moved there, in the late 70s, it had faded as a business and it was almost impossible to buy "'shine" (not that you'd want to). But out in the sticks there were still people who remembered those times when moonshing was big business, and there were still back-door places were you could buy liquor on a Sunday. By then more and more counties had gone wet and the margins weren't there like they had been.

There were (are) bad guys selling the stuff, but there were (are) guys like Pusser, both of which, as the "Dirty South" review leans toward, were a mix of good and bad, mostly people who liked to be where the action was. It was kinda' like Xtreme sports before there were Xtreme sports, but with a really high ante.

Holywood doesn't work well under that sort of mixed good/bad reality, so guys like Pusser tend to be made into a penultimate good, and the bad guys are portrayed as unredeemable. Whatever, it was people who made fast money who liked to fight and weren't above shooting a rival, and people who didn't see a problem with beating others snotless with a stick.
posted by Elvis at 2:40 PM on September 27, 2004

I saw the original many moons ago and was surprised that Hollywood would remake it as a full feature. However, the original made some scratch and Hollywood is never one to turn down remakes or sequels. Its all about the benjamins.

For a long winded review of the 1973 drive in classic check Teleport City which also goes into some of the "history" of the original.
posted by infowar at 2:42 PM on September 27, 2004

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