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The Born Losers (1967)

 -  Action | Drama | Thriller  -  12 July 1967 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,331 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 24 critic

Billy Jack battles outlaw motorcycle gang in a small California beach town.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Elizabeth James ...
Vicky Barrington
Jeremy Slate ...
Daniel 'Danny' Carmody
William Wellman Jr. ...
Child
...
Deputy Fred
Paul Bruce ...
District Attorney George Davis
Robert Cleaves ...
Mr. Crawford
Paul Prokop ...
Speechless
...
Cueball (as Robert W. Tessier)
Jeff Cooper ...
Gangrene
Stuart Lancaster ...
Sheriff Harvey (as Stewart Lancaster)
Anne Bellamy ...
Mrs. Prang
Gordon Hoban ...
Jerry Carmody
Susan Foster ...
Linda Prang
Janice Miller ...
Jodell Shorn
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Storyline

A malicious motorcycle gang harasses the residents of a small California town, intimidating most residents to not report them to the police. Among the gang's crimes is the rape of four young women. As the gang attempts to threaten the women into not testifying at the indictment hearing, one of the women, Vicki, comes under the protection of Billy Jack, who has also had several altercations with the gang. The gang escalates their pressure on both Vicki and Billy Jack to keep her out of the courtroom. Written by Warren Anderson <wanderson@asdg.enet.dec.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kitten on wheels, with her bike, her boots and her bikini! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nacidos para perder  »

Box Office

Budget:

$360,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$36,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Banned in Sweden for its violence in 1968, 1972 and 1975. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the scene at the Shorns' house, the LP record Jodell is looking at while talking to her mother changes from David Rose's 'The Stripper' into 'Music to Strip By' and then back again. These were both actual stripper-themed LPs released in the 1960s (perhaps suggesting Mrs. Shorn's previous occupation?) See more »

Connections

Referenced in No Way to Treat a Lady (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Iconoclastic And Colorful
7 September 2007 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Given its low budget, this is not a bad movie. A motorcycle gang, led by the scruffy Jeremy Slate, terrorizes a small California town, and in the process rapes several college girls. There's lots of tough talk, motorcycle noise, and violence, as you would expect for a biker film.

Of course, to balance out all the villainous mayhem, you gotta have a hero on the scene. And for the era in which the film was made, there was no better hero than the charismatic loner, half-breed Billy Jack, played with serene gusto by Tom Laughlin. He's a one-man show of moral and physical strength, as he outwits and outfights the biker roughnecks. The film makes the point that bad parenting and ineptness in traditional law enforcement foster an environment conducive to delinquency.

Interestingly, although this is the first Billy Jack film, Laughlin played a similar role ten years earlier, in a movie called "The Delinquents" (1957). His character was Scotty, a good guy teenager who gets mixed up with a bunch of high school hoodlums. Whereas in "The Delinquents" all the villains are kids who drive around in jalopies, in "The Born Losers", the kids have grown into adults who ride motorcycles.

In "The Born Losers" the characters tend to be stereotypes. In a time period that immediately preceded the women's lib movement, the film's female characters are very, very subservient. The film's plot does depend on contrivances to some extent. Dialogue lacks subtext. Production design is ... colorful. And the costumes reek of late 60's garish "hip" (love those pink walls and pink clothes), all perfectly in sync with the Age of Aquarius. Tom Laughlin's direction is excellent. Color cinematography is very good. The outdoor scenery is wonderful, as is the music in the opening title sequence.

I've seen a number of biker films. "The Born Losers" is one of the best. It was highly successful at the box office, and led to later Billy Jack films. It has a cinematic style that is almost iconoclastic; not insignificantly, it preceded "Easy Rider" by a couple of years. Such was the impact of "The Born Losers".


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