This made-for-TV actioner was designed as the pilot for a series based on the popular Walking Tall films of the 1970s. This time out, a young Brian Dennehy is cast as the stick-wielding, scrupulously honest Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser (played in the films by Joe Don Baker and Bo Svenson), with Forrest Tucker repeating his role from Walking Tall: The Final Chapter as Pusser's father. After chasing down a speeding car, Pusser is disgusted to find that its teenaged occupants (two of them dead, two blinded for life) are stoned out of their minds on bad bootleg hooch. Bypassing due process and other such legal niceties, Pusser goes on a one-man rampage of destruction in order to square accounts with the evil disco owner-cum-moonshiner responsible for the tragedy. Making things difficult is the fact that one of the villains of the piece is also one of Buford's oldest pals. A Real American Hero made its CBS debut on December 9, 1978.