6.3/10
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126 user 49 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)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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:

One of the most popular pictures of our time See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Western

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)
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 film was directed by Tom Laughlin but all literature and the actual credits claim the director as T.C.Frank. This was a way for Tom Laughlin to honor his three children: Teresa, Christina, and Frank. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jean: You just can't keep making your own laws. There's got to be one set of laws fair for everyone, including you.
Billy Jack: That's fine. When that set of laws is applied to everyone, then I'll turn the other cheek too.
Jean: There's got to be a better way to change those people.
Billy Jack: CHANGE those people? You worked with King, didn't you?
Jean: Yes!
Billy Jack: Where is he?
Jean: Dead.
Billy Jack: And where's Bob and Jack Kennedy?
Jean: Dead.
Billy Jack: Not "dead", their brains blown out! Because YOUR people wouldn't even put the same controls on their guns as they do on ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Teenage Caveman (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Very Accurate Look Back
1 December 2003 | by tonesmythSee all my reviews

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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