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A Very Accurate Look Back
tonesmyth1 December 2003
I was a teenager when this movie came out. I've not seen it in years and found it on a bargain DVD the other night. While the matter of whether or not this is great film-making may be up for debate, there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the most accurate records on film of what is was to be a hippie (or a freak) in the early 70's. If all you know about this is from watching "That 70's Show", this movie should be an eye-opener. I just have to make a few comments about some of the other reviews here. The musical performances were not polished and professional, however, in 1971, we weren't looking for that. We loved to sit around with other freaks and sing songs together. We liked that better than listening to the radio. We didn't play CDs at our parties, we sang for each other. Some of us had bad voices, but we didn't care. It wasn't karaoke, we wrote our own songs. This movie portrays what it was all about. The drama scenes were excellent. I was doing that kind of improv in my Jr. High Drama class. We did those kind of skits at summer camp. This again, was very common back in the day. I remember the redneck as well. I grew up in a western town and part of being a freak was that you got a lot of harassment from the rednecks. They'd gang up on you and try to cut your hair. This was really not an uncommon thing. This movie showed some contradiction of violence and the peace movement. Most of us had all of that inside of us at the time. We were influenced by Gandhi and Bruce Lee. We listened to Joan Baez and Black Sabbath. This movie hit home with so many of us because it's two main characters (Billy & Jean) were the two sides of our own psyche trying to make sense of the world around us. While the acting talent may be in question, I found the characters to be very real and many reminded me of people I grew up with. If this movie was to be remade, I doubt they could find an actor to deliver such authenticity. For anyone interested in knowing what the world was really like in 1971, this film will take you there.
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A True Classic
hacness18 January 2006
Well, Billy Jack was not at all what I had expected. I had heard of the movie and thought it was some kind of kung fu cult movie, but really didn't know what to expect. The movie blew me away! OK, so the acting can be a little cheesy at times, but how many movies from that era are not cheesy in some way? At any rate, Billy Jack is a true American hero. What I love about the movie is that it is focused on very important subject matter, but portrays it in such an unconventional and unique way. Billy Jack is a character of all characters. His mannerisms are hysterical. He shows such intense frustration when he knows he's going to have to kick someone's butt, and that makes his character what it is. He's an ex-green beret and he can surely kick some serious bad guy butt if he has to, but he is also a man with a big heart and his life's mission is to protect the native Americans and hippies who are either too weak or too peaceful to fight for themselves. And he loves Jean, loves her with all his heart and knows that he is the only one who can protect her and protect what is important to her. His character is portrayed in such a way that you can see the internal struggle in his eyes and hear it in his voice when he is faced with a situation where some biggot butts need kickin'. Billy Jack is a true classic and a movie that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
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Judge it against other films from the time
grahamsj316 December 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I seldom read other reviewer's comments before I add my own two cents' worth, but I did for this one..don't know why. Anyway, it seems that this film is being judged against the films of today instead of with others from the early 70's. Much of what made the film a blockbuster then seems so dated now. Judged against other films of the day, Billy Jack was BIG and Billy Jack was IMPORTANT. The acting in this film is not great, but most of the cast is made up of relative unknowns. The story, as I said, is definitely passe (by today's standards). But Billy Jack was a "social consciousness" film, designed to put forward the cause of pacifism. The Vietnam war was still raging in 1971 and the antiwar juggernaut was steamrolling. This film, while not strictly an anti-war film, advocates peace, love and all that other hippie stuff. Oh, yeah...HIPPIES. When's the last time you saw a real, honest-to-God Hippie? The film is pretty much full of hippies. They espoused peace and love and sharing, a message that just wouldn't cut it today. But mixed in with the peace movement is the beginnings of the growing need to reconnect with one's ancestry. Billy Jack is an Indian. No, they don't call them Native Americans in this film, they call them Indians. Everything has changed in 30 years and that's why it's not fair to judge this film by today's standards. This film is very violent, has nudity in it and would certainly be rated "R" today. Billy Jack's martial arts sequences are actually realistic, with no one flying 20 feet through the air, turning a dozen back flips and then kicking 13 people in a quarter of a second. Somehow, it wound up with a PG rating. It's a 30+ year old film but one that deserves to be judged fairly, so judge it against other films of the time. I think you'll find it can stand on its own.
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late 60s fun and social consciousness
drguitar2078316 November 2005
This movie takes me back to 1969 (when it was first started) Also: note the high school football schedule for 1969 on the ice cream shop door with the school name marked out to preserve its anonymity). You really had to live through these days to appreciate the fact that some people really did think and act like the actors in this film.While all hippies were certainly NOT non-violent, this film earnestly tries to present an enlightened message to an adult audience that at that time was not the most socially aware in the world. =)And yes, people really did say things like: "Damn hippies! They oughtta get their hair cut! they're ruining the country!!"

The New Left movement which really became influential around 1972 and years following was the hippie fringe in 69.

This movie is simply a lot of fun. To insist it be more than that is unrealistic. It was independently produced by a guy (Laughlin) who believed in his message, wrote it and called all the shots himself. Its really not bad taken in that context. The little blonde girl singing the anti-war song is Tom and Delores' real life daughter Theresa. The comedy troupes used to appear on shows like the Smothers Brothers and were considered "way out". =) (amazing how cynical we've become isn't it??) While most of America in those days was more like the townspeople than the school people, it is still very very entertaining to see those days played out again.
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One of the best
Dismenot2 August 2003
A movie I think almost everyone should see. Billy Jack epitomizes the senselessness of blind hatred and bigotry, and, it was one of the best "B" movies ever made. I myself, went to a type of "freedom school" when I was a kid, and the song, "One Tin Soldier" almost became our school anthem. I love this movie and always will, but a word of warning, the younger generation wont find any "star-wars" special effect's, it was produced on a rather small budget, and anyone can find a filming flaw, in any movie, but if you take it at face value, and just enjoy the "John Wayne cleaning up the town(only moved into the 1970's instead of the 1870's)" and the message it convey's. then I think you will like this film.
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An under-appreciated masterwork
WeepingGodFilms26 August 2001
Warning: Spoilers
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 surprisingly 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.
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Not so ridiculous
pcofhod4 December 2003
Granted, I'll admit that this movie, or many movies of the same period, are not going to win an Oscar or anything. It wasn't intended to be a box office runaway, or a cash cow. It was meant to make a statement. I was fairly young by the time this came out, but even by then, I'd found many things in my own life that I'd identify with in this movie. First, I'm half Cherokee, and went through the whole biased, racist, "halfbreed" garbage myself, and still do on a rare occasion. Secondly, I'm a martial artist, albeit of a much different style than the Hapkido studied by Tom Laughlin and the character of Billy Jack. Thirdly, I'm what would be termed a hippie. This movie made a very powerful statement about what racism, as far as pertains to Native Americans, was and can still be like in this country today. It made a statement about the hippie movement, which 99.99% of its detractors have no idea what its about, or why we did it and continue to do it. So you can tell there's a stuntman that takes Tom's place in the park. Big deal. MANY movies, especially of that era, have similar "problems" with the suspension of disbelief. The thing you have to remember is that this is a MOVIE. Yes, its supposed to give the surrealism of watching something in real life, but we know its a movie. Enjoy the story for the sake of the story. Don't nit pick each and every little detail and flaw. Ever seen those movies with the cars driving down a wet road at night, and you can see the reflection of the car headlights, and the trails they leave on the lens of the camera? Of course you have. This is something that will distract the nit picker but won't mean much of anything to someone trying to enjoy the story. Besides, nobody's perfect. You've got to be who you are, what you are, and all that is revolved around what turns you on, not in a sexual sense, but "turned on" as in "makes you tick." So what if Fox was the original bankroller of the film? They obviously didn't KEEP bankrolling it. The quality is terrible, by today's standards, yes. In 1971 though, the quality was actually very good by comparison. The acting was, as someone said, very natural. You weren't thinking of looking at actors trying to be someone else, you had the sense of these people being exactly who they were supposed to be in most cases. Again, not Oscar material, but it flowed smoothly enough, I think, that overall, the effect was successful. There's so much more I could say, but I'll get off the soapbox now and hush. The lesson is its a film, enjoy it for what it is. If you think you can do better, don't talk, do. Then you can rattle on about what is "so ridiculous" and what isn't.
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A VERY important film to the products of the 60/70s.
shakeyjim9 July 2003
Seeing this film back in '71 when it first came out did very much to change my attitudes and commentaries. Only in the old days would a movie like this create such a great change in a persons psyche. I'm very glad I discovered this film when I did and even though the production and acting qualities are pretty 'low' this movie definitely is a 'must see' for everyone. Enjoy.
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Unforgettable Cult Movie
claudio_carvalho2 November 2013
The half-breed Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin) lives in an Indian reservation protecting the Indians, the stallions and the students of the Freedom School, a peaceful art school run by Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor) and where the students can choose their own destiny. When the teenage daughter of the corrupt Deputy Mike (Ken Tobey), Barbara (Julie Webb), is retrieved by Sheriff Cole (Clark Howat), she tells that she is pregnant and her father beats her up. Sheriff Cole and the local doctor (Victor Izay) ask Jean if she can lodge Barbara, she welcomes the traumatized teenager. But her father, together with the corrupt and powerful Mr. Stuart Posner (Bert Freed) and his coward son Bernard Posner (David Roya), initiate a campaign to damage the school reputation and humiliate the students while Billy Jack fight to control his temper against the bigotry and violence of the locals. But when he discovers what Bernard did to Jean, he has to use violence to defeat evil.

"Billy Jack" is one of those unforgettable cult-movies that belongs to my adolescence. I do not recall when I saw this movie for the first or last times, but I still love it. "Billy Jack" may be dated in 2013 but the Utopian non-violence, non-bigotry and non-racial segregation messages of the Freedom School are still beautiful. Unfortunately in the end peace is vanquished by violence. My vote is ten.

Title (Brazil): "Billy Jack"
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Opening Champ
WaikikiTodd26 December 2004
Without a doubt the BEST opening sequence in movie history (with the possible exception of Barbed Wire; spectacularly beautiful, tremendous aerial shots, and subject matter...whew! And from a non-Hollywood operation, no less!!! Hurrah! The horses seem almost moving on script. And the pure rawness and glory of nature is at its most striking. And, lastly, and far from least, the incredible song by Coven (who says one-hit wonders leave little legacy). The song perfectly frames the powerful/powerless relationship that is central to the movie, and the simple truth that spiritual power will always, ultimately, trump the material. A raw film it is, and that is its glory.
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Good movie with strong messages for its time.
gozor21 July 1999
Generation Xters will not have a chance at understanding this to the magnitude planned. Keeping things in proper perspective requires consideration of the time frame of this movie. In the real world we were still "in country"/Nam and getting very fed up with the associated atrocities both there and here. The differences between liberals and conservatives were at an all-time-high. This movie definitely leans to the left on many issues but only really to point out how important it is to not lose our humanity. It was really about a man who, disillusioned by what he saw his own country do overseas, came home to find the same thing. The fighting scenes were excellent for their time. The use of a hard style of martial arts was different and very impressive. Tom's execution of moves were both well done and in most cases reasonably realistic (maybe a few too many karate chops). The acting was anywhere between good to just adequate,,, which in some cases gave it a more realistic feel (less hollywoodlike).
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This movie just makes me go berserk
garybny5 August 2010
First, I just want to mention that I used to like Billy Jack. Then something strange happened....I grew up. Where should I start. Maybe with the main reason that I used to be a fan, the martial arts action. Never mind that taken through a hindsight perspective, the action is quite limited. Also Tom Laughlin has no martial arts training at all (unknown to me during my ignorance at the time) and all of his karate scenes were performed by a Asian karate master stunt double. Also, I believe that one of the main reasons that no major studio would touch this, was Laughlin's insistence that Delores Taylor (his wife)play the female lead. Not only was she far from attractive, she was devoid of any acting ability whatsoever. If anyone doubts this, please name a non-Billy Jack film that she has appeared in. I must also mention the complete hypocrisy of the whole hippie, non-violence premise of the film. You see Billy Jack preaches pacifism and non-violence, while busting heads. I guess violence is only justifiable when it is considered "righteous liberal rage". Let this one tin soldier ride away.
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Ratings seem age based
cppguy3 March 2014
I've given this a low rating for one good reason: I did what someone else suggested I do and that's not compare "Billy Jack" to films of today but compare it to the films of 1971. Gosh... lessee... OK, compare it to "Fiddler on the Roof," "A Clockwork Orange," "The French Connection," "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." Should I go on? Those of you who were 14-21 back in 1971 need to face a simple fact and that is "Billy Jack" was a low-budget "message" film that managed to resonate with your age group. My sons stumbled on me watching this today and one remarked "the acting and dialog are terrible." They are majoring in media in college and know the difference between good and bad film-making.

I was 9 when "Billy Jack" came out and the whole hippie thing was already becoming nostalgia by the time I was old enough to have been a part. Consequently, the movie felt more like watching old clichés come to life than anything either nostalgic or inspiring.

That said, the movie isn't really a train wreck. I thought it was worth watching to see the sketches done by Howard Hesseman (Johnny Fever from "WKRP") and his friends from the Committee. The hold-up scene felt like "who's on first?" collided with the Monty Python crew.
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A cult film with attitude
carlsez_121 March 2012
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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this film is a dated but heroic depiction of real hero in times of need, a true sacrificer
jutrellis18 July 2004
I first saw this film as a 14-yr old just getting into martial arts training. I had already been a big Bruce Lee fan and respected the ideals that he stood for. The same is true for Billy Jack, the character and the film. Righteousness, honesty, honour, fellowship, brotherhood, elder guidance, environmentalism and respect for nature, godliness, good vs. evil.

Even though the film's portrayal of these themes was dated and perhaps unrealistically idealistic, it spoke of truth and sacrifice and one man's devotion to these ideals. billly jack is a hero. sometimes evil needs to be stamped out and billy did this with his feet. He always gave fair warning of consequences and a way out but inevitably they chose to side with evil and not good. the most compelling part of this movie was the love he shared
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I love it every time I see it!
krascal28 April 1999
From the first time I saw Billy Jack at my local theater as a teen ager, to the many late night showings I have seen since, I love Billy Jack more and more. The conflicts between Jean and Billy are so real. For two people at such opposite ends of the spectrum to love each other so much is just awesome! The sub plots are interwoven with one another and each one has a definite conclusion. In today's society, Jean's pacifism is sorely missed. Definitely a movie worth seeing over and over!
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70's Counterculture Schlock
t_k_matthews13 March 2012
I don't know what made me think of Billy Jack and look it up on IMDb. Maybe in old age I'm looking back with fondness on the things of my youth that I despised. It's been forty years since I saw "Billy Jack," so be kind if I get a detail or two wrong.

A girl dragged me to see Billy Jack in a second-run theater. It'd been around the block once. (The movie, not the girl, who'd been around the block several times.) I think my female friend sensed that I was a little too conservative and judgmental and this was a movie I *needed* to see. In the end she was disappointed it had no discernible salutary effect on me other than to harden my stance against idiotic peace-and-love schlock.

Billy Jack fights violence by beating up people. Not exactly what Mr. Gandhi and Dr. King had in mind. We cheer for Billy (or Jack) while he lands crushing martial arts blows to (if memory serves) Republicans, rednecks, law enforcement officers, greedy land speculators, the anti-child lobby, and people who like their cars. Mr. Jack loves children, but probably not in an icky way, and is full of woo-woo mysticism which, as I recall, was often in those days linked to the use of pharmaceuticals. The Man, of course, is always trying to keep him down.

One previous review said the movie leans to the left. This movie leans to the left like the sun leans to hot. This movie is so socialist that by comparison it makes Obama's preacher look like Rick Santorum.

If pretentiousness and smug piety count against a movie at all (and they should, even making allowances for a film from the counterculture years), this is one of the worst ever. As I think about it, I'd kind of like to see it again, just for laughs.

To those who love "Billy Jack" and its message of peace, love, and harmony: If this review angers you, please don't beat me up. To misquote the song: Peace on earth/Is all I say.
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Everything you hated about 1970 rolled into a ball
LCShackley12 May 2013
I was a high school sophomore when this movie came out. It was one of the iconic movies of the period, but I managed to miss it until 2013 when I caught it on cable TV. All I knew about its content was what I learned from the Paul Simon SNL parody "Billy Paul" which ran a few years after the film's release. I had the impression that it was a sort of violent revenge film along the lines of "Death Wish."

Instead, it's a 2-hour reminder of how truly awful the hippie era was, full of pretension, naiveté, new-ageism, and horrid folk songs that make you want to pull a Belushi with the guitar player. The plot itself takes about 60 minutes to unravel; the rest is filler, featuring "music" or improvised comedy by the 60s troupe "The Committee" (including Howard Hesseman under a stage name). The clichés flow freely, and the characters are all cardboard cutouts, but at least things are livened up by a few good fight scenes featuring the "pacifist" Billy Jack. It's the kind of movie you'd expect when a husband/wife team writes a script, then give themselves the starring roles and the director's chair. With any luck, this film will cure any nostalgia you may still have for the late 60s/early 70s.
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Tom Laughlin helps a group of peace loving hippies by kicking redneck ass
a_chinn24 December 2018
Endearingly terrible action/message film about an ex-green beret who helps a bunch of hippie kids at a school that promotes peace and tolerance by kicking the ass of every intolerant bigot they encounter. There's also a subplot about Billy stopping the same bad guys from slaughtering some wild horses. Written, produced, directed, and staring Tom Laughlin as Billy Jack, this film was a huge hit when that spawned several sequels and it maintains its rah-rah appeal today. Laughlin gives a hilariously wooden performance, but much like contemporary wooden action star Steven Seagal, Laughlin has a strangely compelling on-screen charisma that makes me giddy with anticipation to see him let loose with his fakey fake martial arts. Unlike Seagal, who at one time was a legit martial artist, Laughlin didn't know any martial arts before this film and was trained by Hapkido Master Bong Soo Han, best known for playing Dr. Klahn in "The Kentucky Fried Movie," who was also Laughlin's body double in the fight scenes. There are no big names appearing in the film, although there are a few familiar character actors with Bert Freed, Kenneth Tobey, and Clark Howat as Sheriff Cole, but you do get Howard Hesseman in his first credited feature film role as a hippie drama teacher. Overall, despite Laughin's bad acting, his laughably strident script, and his ham-fisted direction, "Billy Jack" is a compulsively watchable exploitation film that seems a bizarre hybrid of "Walking Tall" and "Easy Rider." You'll either love or hate this film and firmly in the camp of the former.
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Time has not been kind to this movie.
Nat-218 October 1999
I recall seeing this movie at the theater. At the time I was a teenager ripe for the anti-establishment theme (and thrilled with the "cool " violence in the movie). I thought it was the greatest movie ever made. On re-viewing it recently, I couldn't believe how stupid I was. This movie is so bad it is laughable. You can almost feel the characters straining to get their point across. The plot is simplistic and the acting is. Of course, things have changed in nearly 30 years. My taste in movies is one of them.
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Peace and love and martial arts
Kakueke15 December 2001
"Billy Jack," eponymously titled for the lead character, is an entertaining movie, but without much substance -- that is what you get when you have caricatures -- a peace-loving, basically American Indian "Freedom School" versus the conservative redneck bad guys.

Billy Jack is played by Tom Laughlin, who does not look much like a half Indian. Also, altho he has martial arts fluidity against the villains, he is quite rigid in posture, the white man that he is. Like his split background, I thought his acting performance was uneven -- at times good, at times wooden. Let me comment that he was not impressive in the final scene, which was not moving to me. Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor), sort of Billy's love interest, runs the Freedom School. She is the passionate figure of the movie, but certainly only platonically.

One curiousity is what the director is trying to do with the character of Sheriff Cole, a compromising personality, but who overall seems to be presented favorably. A good man rather than bad like the rest of the town, he is unable and unwilling to mount an effective resistance to the bad guys tho he serves as a go-between, helps Billy and the Freedom Schoolers behind the scenes, and yes, once, rescues Billy, by, sort of, standing up against the beaters. Like Billy, he is totally outnumbered by pretty much an entirely bad white community, like the prosecutor in the Mississippi civil rights murder cases trying to convince the jury. But I say, his is a refreshing role to me, because he is, well, the most normal person.

So, American Indians have been mistreated? We all know that, but what does this movie tell us about it, the background, the problem as it exists today (OK, 30 years ago), the solution? So we have peace-loving hippies and Indians, whining, whining, directed at the bad guys, nothing else. So?

What was the Freedom School all about? Well, it opposes the establishment. We know. But what does it do, what do you learn, what do you accomplish, what are you prepared for? Well, we hear diatribes, but where are we going? Maybe inherently nowhere.

Thus, "Billy Jack" mainly functions for its superficial visual (and audio) images, spirit of the '60s. But the storyline still captures the viewer. There are the abusive bad guys, we are worked up against them, the guy in the white hat (sort of) comes to the rescue. And if we don't totally understand what the Freedom School is all about, we at least know some of its political stances, and something of its style, even if the way the movie presents them is silly.

This all adds up to an annoying sanctimoniousness that serves as a turnoff. Tho the conservative characters are stereotyped, they are developed better than the Freedom Schoolers, who are poorly acted, cheesy, and certainly not compelling.

The true irony of "Billy Jack" is that the pacifist Freedom School contradicts what made people go see the movie. How many went, or would go, to see it, and how many went to see the fight scenes? Anyway, the score is quite good.
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A Strange Classic
gavin69429 September 2017
Ex-Green Beret hapkido expert saves wild horses from being slaughtered for dog food and helps protect a desert "freedom school" for runaways.

Why this movie matters: Before "Billy Jack", movies contained at most brief references to martial arts, with fights portrayed by actors who had little training. With "Billy Jack", Han Bong Soo introduced authentic hapkido techniques to Western audiences. So there's that.

But the film is bogged down by a weird hippie school and politics that nobody seems to understand (what is "violent pacifism"?). Interestingly, Delores Taylor received a Golden Globe nomination as Most Promising Newcoming Actress. And yet, aside from the "Billy Jack" films, that promise was not followed through on.
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the message that I seen in this movie
eaglenest7927 February 2006
When this movie came out I was barley in my teens, but I remember the power of the message in that movie. Having just bought the DVD of it, I see the power of that message is still there.

The message to me is as thus, Violence does not solve everything and should be used ONLY as a last resort if ever. the school's admin if you will was pure pacifism, he on the other hand, had to fight for everything in his life, so naturally that's how he responded. It did however remind me of an era that has long since come to pass and the young of today do not or maybe never will understand. And that is the true problem. without understanding the problems that made change occur, we are just as liable to have to relive them. I sincerely hope that movies that were this "gritty" then are able to be kept around as a mirror into the minds and mindsets of that time and the struggles as we all became more human.
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This movie makes Public Access Television look appealing.
john_q_public_696 October 2000
What good things can I say about this movie. At least I didn't pay the rental fee; someone else did and that's bad enough. This movie is film making at its absolute worst. The acting is terrible and the script is about as well thought out as an 8th Grade research paper. The picture quality is horrid not to mention you can't hear some of the dialogue in "potentially key" scenes. This film looks like a 8mm home movie of a hippie commune in Oregon. I don't know how this movie got any financing whatsoever let alone the revenue it brought in. Just let me some up this movie in one word. . . DUMB!!!!!
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a 70's classic
trobinson3230 December 2005
Billy Jack had a little of everything, and a lot of exaggerated stereotypes to make it easy to take sides. It also doled out a lot of thought-provoking ideas - almost like hippie propaganda. But it was a great action movie with a lead character you had to respect, not just because he could kick everyone's butt as he defended the weak from the evil, corrupt townies, but because he seemed sincere in his spiritual Indian way of life. The fight scene in the town square is a classic and it also contains one of the greatest movie lines I ever heard. It's listed in the quotes for this movie. It's where the deputy says he will kill the girl he's holding. And then, when Billy points his rifle at him, he asks, 'you mean you'd kill her, just like that?" Then Billy says, "no, you will. And then I'll kill you, just like that." I enjoyed the action, the improv comedy skits, the music, and the story. The bad guys were easy to hate and the good guys were easy to love. I never get tired of watching it.
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