Billy Jack (1971)

GP  |   |  Action, Drama  |  2 August 1971 (Sweden)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.2/10 from 4,290 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 44 critic

Ex-Green Beret hapkido expert saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and helps protect a desert "freedom school" for runaway.


(as T.C. Frank)


(screenplay) (as Frank Christina) , (screenplay) (as Teresa Christina)
0Check in

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

After Billy Jack in sentenced to four years in prison for the "involuntary manslaughter" of the first film, the Freedom School expands and flourishes under the guidance of Jean Roberts. The... See full summary »

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Victor Izay
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

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

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Elizabeth James, Jeremy Slate
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

After a senator suddenly dies after completing (and sealing) an investigation into the nuclear power industry, the remaining senator and the state governor must decide on a person who will ... See full summary »

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, E.G. Marshall
Walking Tall (1973)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Based on the life of Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser whom almost single-handily cleaned up his small town of crime and corruption, but at a personal cost of his family life and nearly his own life.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Joe Don Baker, Elizabeth Hartman, Leif Garrett
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Larry Rayder is an aspiring NASCAR driver, Deke Sommers his mechanic. As they feel they collectively are the best, the only thing that is holding them back is money to build the best ... See full summary »

Director: John Hough
Stars: Peter Fonda, Susan George, Adam Roarke
Summer of '42 (1971)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

During his summer vacation on Nantucket Island in 1942, a youth eagerly awaiting his first sexual encounter finds himself developing an innocent love for a young woman awaiting news on her soldier husband's fate in WWII.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Jennifer O'Neill, Gary Grimes, Jerry Houser
Action | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Sheriff Buford Pusser continues his one-man war against moonshiners and a ruthless crime syndicate after the murder of his wife in late 1960's Tennessee.

Director: Earl Bellamy
Stars: Bo Svenson, Luke Askew, John Davis Chandler
Airport (1970)
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy
Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman is kidnapped. While in captivity, she manages to send a message out with a wandering cat. The cat's owner calls the FBI. The FBI tries to follow the cat. Jealous boyfriends and nosy... See full summary »

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hayley Mills, Dean Jones, Dorothy Provine
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Chino is the tough leader of a motorcycle gang who starts off a war when he abducts and mistreats the leader of the enemy biker gang, Darryl, and his girlfriend Chris. Things get violent when Darryl comes back for revenge.

Director: Anthony M. Lanza
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Jody McCrea, Chris Noel
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  
Director: Frank Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Ron O'Neal, Lincoln Kilpatrick
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Billy Jack returns to bring down a child pornography ring headed by the Godfather of Godfathers.

Director: Tom Laughlin
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Rodney Harvey, Teresa Kelly


Cast overview, first billed only:
Clark Howat ...
Sheriff Cole
Julie Webb ...
Debbie Schock ...
Teresa Kelly ...
Lynn Baker ...
Stan Rice ...
David Roya ...
John McClure ...
Susan Foster ...
Susan Sosa ...
Katy Moffatt ...
Gwen Smith ...


Billy Jack is a half-Indian/half-white ex-Green Beret who is being drawn more and more toward his Indian side. He hates violence, but can't get away from it in the white man's world. Pitting the good guys, the students of the peace-loving free-arts school in the desert vs. the conservative bad guys in the near-by town, the movie plays definitive late-60s themes/messages: anti-establishment, make love not war, the senseless slaughter of God's creatures, the rape of society (figuratively and literally), two-sided justice, racial segregation and prejudices. Written by Nic Cage <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You've got due process, Mother's Day, supermarkets, the FBI, Medicare, air conditioning, AT&T, country clubs, Congress, a 2-car garage, state troopers, the Constitution, color television and democracy. They've got BILLY JACK See more »


Action | Drama


GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

2 August 1971 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Ashita no kabe o buchi yabure  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Elizabeth James was originally cast in the film but was later fired and replaced by Delores Taylor. See more »


Martin credits the Serenity Prayer to St. Francis of Assisi. It was however written by Reinhold Niebuhr, an American theologian and first published in the 1930s. See more »


[Billy Jack is surrounded by Posner's thugs]
Mr. Posner: You really think those Green Beret Karate tricks are gonna help you against all these boys?
Billy Jack: Well, it doesn't look to me like I really have any choice now, does it?
Mr. Posner: [laughing] That's right, you don't.
Billy Jack: You know what I think I'm gonna do then? Just for the hell of it?
Mr. Posner: Tell me.
Billy Jack: I'm gonna take this right foot, and I'm gonna whop you on that side of your face...
[points to Posner's right cheek]
Billy Jack: ...and you wanna know something? There's not a damn thing you're ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Improvised Material by The Cast and The Committee See more »


Referenced in Drillbit Taylor (2008) See more »


When Will Billy Love Me
Written and Sung by Lynn Baker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An underappreciated masterwork
26 August 2001 | by (Dearborn, Michigan) – See all my reviews

It is true that Tom Laughlin does not look like an Indian, half-breed or otherwise. It is true that some of the scenes, particularly the scenes improvised by the committee, are unnecessary (though extremely funny) and the film itself is too long. It is true that the martial arts scenes in this film are few and far between. However:

The film is not a martial arts film and it deals more with the spirit of being an Indian, a true American, than it is about the looks of one.

Often dismissed as a cheesy karate movie, BILLY JACK is in fact an excellent study of conflicting idealogies, of violence as a quick but by no means correct solution, and of the different varieties of love. Though it is much too long a film, the sheer enthusiasm and love for the children that Jean (Dolores Taylor) expresses gets the viewer involved on an emotional level. While we cannot justify Billy Jack's (Tom Laughlin) actions, we know he is doing it out of love for Jean. We feel the rage he feels towards Bernard, a character that is suprisingly deftly acted. At the start of the film, we sympathize with him; by the time he has raped Jean we, like Billy, want to rip him a couple of new orifices. His well-deserved death is quick and pathetic, like the shooting of the dog.

Billy Jack himself is an American icon, the true definition of a hero, presented in such a way that the audience questions their own ideas about heroism.

The characters are well-drawn, the cinematography breath-taking, the improvised scenes much funnier than anything to hit SNL in a long time. So why is it that this film, the most financially-successful independent film to EVER exist, is so often dismissed as nothing more than a bad karate movie? Because of bad marketing, for one thing; the other is the way it's often described: "A half-breed indian Vietnam Vet played by a white guy protects a 'hippie' school from bigotry." Much like the Freedom School that Billy seeks to protect, the film itself is marred by such bigotry and misconceptions.

55 of 68 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wow this is an awful movie alliekat9090
I don't understand... creeds00-1
billy jack was a great movie for its time kirbsmum
Billy Jack 1971 and Billy Jack 2004 mrcleangarrett
Fight Scene nightpike11
Why didn't he bleed to death? Jinx-to-Ennien
Discuss Billy Jack (1971) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: