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I suspect most readers here have neither seen "The Fixer," nor are familiar with the grotesque (but true) accusation of "Blood Libel" (completely unrelated to the term "Blood Simple"). Sir Alan Bates was justifiably honored for his portrayal of an early-twentieth-century Russian Jew named Yakov Bok (based on the unbelievable-but-true story of Menahem Mendel Beilis) with a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Actor (which went to Cliff Robertson for "Charly" (which was a fine performance, but Bates deserved the award)) . The book (reportedly superior to the film) was written by Bernard Malamud (author of "The Natural"), and the screenplay by Dalton Trumbo (writer of "Roman Holiday" and director of "Johnny Got His Gun"). I won't summarize the film, but although slightly hamfisted (Trumbo was talented, but not subtle), this is an important movie, and a laudable performance by Bates, who looks freakishly like Anton Chigurh (enough so that I think that several aspects of Chigurh were based on Yakov Bok, even though one man is pure good, and the other is pure evil). For now, the film is available, in high quality, for free on YouTube, but I council people to watch it all in one day, and to be prepared for something more than lighthearted fare.
I suspect many of our younger members aren't familiar with the 1973 film, "Walking Tall," and that many of our older members have either forgotten about it, or don't remember its relative cultural importance. While it was never a threat to win any awards, it was one of the first "hicksploitation" films, which paved the way for "the angry, white vigilante" (if you look at that link, you'll see very few movies released before 1973 - one notable exception being 1971's "Dirty Harry,") However, "Walking Tall" is essentially a rewrite of the 1955 film, "The Phenix City Story," which was directed by the same man: Phil Karlson. On the Facebook page, "Buford Pusser: The Other Story," it states: "You can take the script from 'The Phenix City Story,' replace John Patterson with Buford Pusser, and you have basically the same story. Although there are some occasions where the movies strays away from being totally accurate, 'The Phenix City Story' is fortunately a true story which was told in a far more accurate way than was 'Walking Tall.'" The film is a semi-truthful story of legendary Sheriff Buford Pusser, who really did get the crap beaten out of him, who really did get tried for his "crimes," and who really did run for (and win the election for) Sheriff of McNairy County, Tennessee - that much of the story is true. Pusser was an enormous man: 6'6" tall, and very athletic - he was indeed (as depicted in the film) the professional wrestler known as "Buford the Bull," based out of Chicago in the late 1950s. And if you want a robust chuckle, Pusser was born in the town of Finger, Tennessee. Amazingly, The Finger Diner was purportedly the impetus and inspiration for the very first Hard Rock Cafe - you can choose to believe that, or not. In the movie, Pusser was portrayed very well by Joe Don Baker - himself a large man at 6'3" - and someone with "that familiar face" which you could swear you've seen somewhere before. And in fact, you probably *have* seen it before, because even if you don't know who Joe Don Baker is (which is quite possible, even though he was pretty famous in 1973), Baker was the man who portrayed "The Whammer" in "The Natural." How about that! One thing about Walking Tall is that the film is very racially progressive for its time - Pusser deputizes a gentleman of color, his old friend Obrah Eaker (played by Felton Perry, who was the reason I watched this film in the first place - I saw Perry in a very impressive, very important "Adam-12" episode: Season 3, Episode 20 - "Log 76 - The Militants," which I urge people to watch). Another celebrity who played in Walking Tall was Leif Garrett, who played Pusser's son, Mike. Here are Baker, Garrett, and Perry in shots from the movie: