6.3/10
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124 user 48 critic

Billy Jack (1971)

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

Director:

Tom Laughlin (as T.C. Frank)

Writers:

Tom Laughlin (screenplay) (as Frank Christina), Delores Taylor (screenplay) (as Teresa Christina)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Laughlin ... Billy Jack
Delores Taylor ... Jean Roberts
Clark Howat ... Sheriff Cole
Victor Izay ... Doctor
Julie Webb Julie Webb ... Barbara
Debbie Schock Debbie Schock ... Kit
Teresa Kelly Teresa Kelly ... Carol
Lynn Baker Lynn Baker ... Sarah
Stan Rice Stan Rice ... Martin
David Roya David Roya ... Bernard Posner
John McClure John McClure ... Dinosaur
Susan Foster Susan Foster ... Cindy
Susan Sosa Susan Sosa ... Sunshine
Katy Moffatt Katy Moffatt ... Maria
Gwen Smith Gwen Smith ... Angela
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Storyline

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 <2cool@zebra.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When you need him, he's always there! See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Billy Jack Online

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1971 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Billy Jack See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$98,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title song, "One Tin Soldier," recorded by the band Coven, was not written specifically for the film, which deemed the song ineligible at Oscar time. See more »

Goofs

While Carol sings "Johnnie" in the Freedom School's auditorium, a capo is visible on her guitar's second fret in rear shots, but not front shots. See more »

Quotes

[the deputy is holding one of the school's girls at gunpoint as Billy Jack approaches]
Deputy: Now you drop that gun or I'll shoot her!
Deputy: [long pause] I'm not gonna ask you again.
Billy Jack: You won't have to.
Deputy: What?
Billy Jack: I said shoot her.
Deputy: [cocks revolver] You'd kill her? just like that?
Billy Jack: [shakes his head] You'll kill her.
[points his rifle]
Billy Jack: And then I'll kill you. Just like that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Graduation Day Blues: An Interview with David Baughn (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Freedom Over Me
Sung by Gwen Smith
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A cult film with attitude
21 March 2012 | by carlsez_1See all my reviews

Before the smug heroics of Steven Segal's characters there was Billy Jack, the original self proclaimed savior with an attitude. If you like to see self-righteous jerks stylishly beating up even bigger jerks then this is your movie. Each fight scene is setup explicitly for Jack to do an affected restraint merely as a taunt before dispensing his own brand of justice. The spoiled, morally depraved Bernard seems to exist only for the purpose of angering the audience and thus justifying his punishments at the hands and feet of Jack.

Ostensibly about taking a stand against a corrupt authority and abusive bigots 'Billy Jack' is mostly a guilty pleasure for pacifists who feel they've been pushed around long enough. Jack's own claims of trying to be less violent seem hollow as he relishes every punishment he dishes out. He functions as the darker id or alter ego of the peace-love generation.

If not taken nearly as seriously as it wants to be 'Billy Jack' can be enjoyed for it's low budget earnestness, in spite of its somewhat conflicted messages.


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