TV Q&A

Several actors played ‘Walking Tall’ sheriff

 

Akron Beacon Journal

Q. I would like to know where I can find Walking Tall DVDs with the original actor.

Tennessee lawman Buford Pusser’s crime-busting tactics inspired an array of screen adventures starring a fistful of actors.

The first Walking Tall movie in 1973 starred Joe Don Baker as Pusser. A sequel was planned, with the real-life Pusser starring, but he died in an automobile accident before it could be made. Instead, Walking Tall Part II (1975) and Final Chapter: Walking Tall (1977) were made with Bo Svenson.

Then A Real American Hero, a TV movie with Brian Dennehy as Pusser, aired on CBS in 1978. There was also a Walking Tall TV series, with Svenson back in the role, in 1981. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson starred in the 2004 Walking Tall movie, with the names changed and the story modified. Kevin Sorbo starred as another differently named crusading lawman in two direct-to-video efforts, Walking Tall: The Payback and Walking Tall: Lone Justice, in 2007.

The Baker and two Svenson movies are in a budget-priced Walking Tall: The Trilogy set on DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory, which is for sale online from Amazon.com and other vendors.

The Dennehy, Sorbo and Johnson films are on separate DVDs. A set of the seven episodes in the Walking Tall TV series was released in 2006; it no longer appears to be in production, but I have seen copies for sale on Amazon.

Q. In the late 1960s-early 1970s, Sunday night’s Wonderful World of Disney had more than one episode of a program called Scarecrow. I think it was about a Robin Hood-type group. What can you tell me about it and is it available on DVD?

The Disney shows often included adventure miniseries. Davy Crockett, with Fess Parker, started that way, for example. Patrick McGoohan starred in the three-part drama based on a series of books about Dr. Syn, a character also known as the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh. The episodes were also edited into a movie.

The Walt Disney Treasures line of DVD releases included one called Dr. Syn: The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh in 2008; it contained the episodes and the movie. That DVD is not in production, and used copies of the DVD package can run you $180 on Amazon, with new ones about $300. But if you would just like to see the program again, I spotted the three episodes on YouTube.

Q. Are there any plans to bring Southland and Merlin back on any network?

Both shows will have new telecasts. Merlin will begin a new season on Syfy in January. Police drama Southland will resume on TNT in February.

Q. In 2002, William H. Macy and Kyra Sedgwick starred in a made-for-TV movie, Door to Door. Will this ever be released on DVD or Blu-ray?

A DVD of the movie was released this year. The film — which starred Macy as Bill Porter, a real-life salesman with cerebral palsy — won Emmys after it aired on TNT, including best TV-movie, lead movie actor (Macy), director (Steven Schachter) and writing (Macy and Schachter).

Send questions to TV Mailbag, Akron Beacon Journal, 44 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH 44309 or rheldenfels@thebeaconjournal.com. Replies cannot be guaranteed.

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