Never mind the G rating, this is scary stuff which sent my little one fleeing to another room inside of 10 minutes. Between the cat attacks and murderous rats, there's a lot of terror in The Secret of NIMH, but slightly older kids will likely thrill to the Harry Potter-like adventure here, which has a widowed mouse trying to figure out how to move her cinder block house and three children to safety before the plowing begins and rips them all to shreds. So, of course, she turns to the genetically enhanced rats down the way, who overcome their own obstacles before coming to a magical, sword-slinging rescue. Quite the finale.
Joe Don Baker plays the "based on a true story" sheriff of a small Tennessee town, Buford Pusser, who cleans up the burg of gambling kingpins, whores, and murderers with the aid of a four-foot long cudgel and a style of justice not often seen in the days of the ACLU. (Illegal search and siezure? Police brutality? No problem!) Walking Tall spawned two sequels, a TV series, and a remake (30 years later!). Joe Don Baker pioneered the "hixploitation" genre with his performance here, and the film deserves credit for that. But don't forget the exploitation side of the film, which makes for some cheesy fights, cheesy one-liners, and a gaggle of cheesy villains. Still, there's no denying the power of Baker and his club.
PIty blind Selina (Elizabeth Hartman). She hasn't been marginalized so much as completely ignored by her family and society. She's a grown woman and yet she's never even been taught how to cross the street. Lucky for her she finds a savior in Gordon (Sidney Poitier), who takes her under his wing and teaches her the basics of getting around in modern society -- though he, of course, can see. A romance develops, but it doesn't go over well in these barely-unsegregated days. Whether this ends in total tragedy or a bittersweet parting is the only real question here (though the ending was altered from the novel) -- but the film is so well-acted and expertly written that you root for them nonetheless. Shelley Winters (inexplicably) won an Oscar for her role as Selina's bigoted mother.