Clipped From The Jackson Sun

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 - Producer Mort Briskin Says Film Walking Tall'...
Producer Mort Briskin Says Film Walking Tall' Is Not Aimed At Selmer SELMER Mort Briskin. producer of the film "Walking Tall" which has created a wave of controversy in Selmer, has "personally taken responsibility" for what he called an erroneous press release from Bing Crosby Productions. Briskin said in an exclusive Sun interview which he himself requested that the press release in the Jackson Sun which outlined the action of the film based on the life of Buford Pusser "was a mistake," and that the city of Selmer "is not portrayed as a place of vice and corruption." The action of the film, Briskin pointed out, will take place in rural areas outside the "city limits, exactly as the incidents of Pusser's crime-busting career actually happened, with the gambling houses located on the Tennessee-Mississipi state line. "Selmer is not portrayed as having a "strip" of gambling or drinking establishments," he said. The moviemaker, obviously distressed over negative reaction to the film from city officials in Selmer, said, "Why would I want to come 2,000 miles to antagonize people?" Briskin said when "Walking Tall" was planned, he had intended to shoot all of the movie in Selmer and McNairy County, in the place where the ambush of Pusser and other true - life incidents actually occurred; he wanted to use McNairy County people, and wanted to have his crew and company catered and housed by McNairy County facilities "because I had made a promise to Buford Pusser that I would make this movie in his county, using his people, and spend my money in his county." But he met with opposition from the beginning, Briskin said, when advance production men visited Selmer on two separate occasions, and reported to Briskin that they met "with no cooperation" by local officials. He said his men were made to feel that they would get no local assistance in directing traffic around z. s A BRISKIN filming sites; that the courthouse, which he would need for only three days of shooting, "would be in use for two months." Briskin said that while he could have filmed "Walkin Tall" in Hollywood, he wanted to use the local settings "to portray the beauty of West Tennessee, and to show that some people in a world of rising crime rates still believe in law and order; and some places are still good places to live." , Selmer people and places would be depicted "as good, peace-loving and law abiding" residents, he said, and would not be portrayed as evil or corrupt. His intent was not, he said, to show a bad town, but a strong, sacrificing lawman who was willing to suffer personal loss in order for good to triumph over evil. People would come away from the theater after seeing "Walking Tall" saying not "how bad" the town is, but how good it is that there are places left in America where the good guy can still be the hero at the end of the story. In response to charges that Selmer would gain nothing but "black eye" from Briskin's movie, he responded that he was spending in excess of $1 million in Madison and Chester counties that he would have been (Continued on Page 2)

Clipped from
  1. The Jackson Sun,
  2. 19 Jul 1972, Wed,
  3. Page 1

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