50 years later, ‘Walking Tall’ impact remains in Buford Pusser’s community

MCNAIRY COUNTY, Tenn. — 50 years have passed since the iconic release of the original “Walking Tall,” where the life of Sheriff Buford Pusser was documented for all to see.

“Buford was a legend,” said Tina Jarrell, curator of the Buford Pusser Home and Museum. “He was fighting against the mob, the state line mob and they were very evil, mean people, and he stood up to them and wouldn’t take a bribe, like everyone else had in the past and he just, he really made an impact on society.”

The original movie detailing Buford’s life was released in February of 1973. Since then, other counts of his life and adaptations have been released, including a book from the perspective of his daughter.

“No one ever dreamed that that movie would go as big as it did, but it went all over the world. And it really made an impact on our county. It brings people here. We get people in here from all over the world still to this day,” Jarrell said.

As the interview was being conducted, a couple from Iowa came to visit the home of Buford, which is also a full scale museum. The home is located at 342 Pusser Street in Adamsville.

“We have several sticks throughout the museum. Buford didn’t walk around with one particular one all the time, like they showed in the movie, he just grabbed whatever was handy. A table leg, a fence post. As you know, Buford was 6’6, 250 pounds, wore a size 15 shoe by today’s standards,” Jarrell said.

The museum would like to invite the public out for the 35th Buford Festival on Memorial Day weekend.

For more information on future events like this and the free watch party of the original movie, click here.

For more local news, click here.

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