Billy Jack

Billy Jack

DVD - 2009
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Billy Jack is a half-white Native American and ex-Green Beret who returns to live in solitude on an Arizona reservation. He is drawn to the progressive Freedom School and the idealist woman who runs it. When tensions flare between the students and the narrow-minded local bigots, Billy Jack becomes the school's protector. One again, violence finds him.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2009]
ISBN: 9781419872297
141987229X
Branch Call Number: DVD TEEN
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (114 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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k
KennyBania
Dec 27, 2016

Ha! The last time I saw this silly movie was in 1972. It's just as dumb now as it was then! But it's worth watching just for the over the top corniness, bad acting, and the schmaltzy last 5 minutes! What a hoot. But keep that fast forward button handy for all the hippy preachy parts! It's hard to believe that, back then, we soaked up all that nonsense! It's interesting to watch as a film student with respect to the shooting and editing on a low budget and the acting is so horrible it's funny. File this one with Tommy Wiseau's 'The Room'.

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 21, 2014

"When policemen break the law, then there isn't any law."
That's a pretty questionable statement from this curious cult hit from the early 70s. The second and by far the most popular of the Billy Jack series, it is simultaneously preachy and violent. The title character, played by director-writer Tom Laughlin, is a "half-breed" ex-Green Beret who knows a rare martial art that he uses to mete out justice on those who illegally kill horses, harass a local hippie school, and generally piss him off. It's a move that both endorses vigilantism and peaceful protests. It's like an unholy mix of Dirty Harry and Gandhi. Hilariously dated, it's a fun trip back in time with some decent action, great theme song by Coven, and a young Howard Hesseman as one of the hippie kids. Followed by "The Trials of Billy Jack."

f
Fuzzy_Wuzzy
Jun 22, 2014

Talk about sending out a screwy message!

This 1971 film actually seemed to suggest that a good, swift kick in the groin would bring about "peace and love". And that a gun in hand was far better than any old constitution when it came to enforcing justice.

Seen today, Billy Jack's politics are, to say the least, highly questionable and its "so-called" message of peace looks downright ludicrous, considering the serious amount of violence that takes place in the story.

Billy Jack pre-dates all of the Bruce Lee/Kung Fu movies and character Billy Jack's wardrobe of black t-shirt, denim jeans and jacket, and black hat with bead-work became an instant fashion trend amongst all the hippy-dippy youth of the day.

Anyways, as Billy Jack's crude, low-budget, little story goes -

Half-breed, Cherokee, and karate expert, Billy Jack goes well out of his way to protect a hippie-themed freedom school for runaways that has recently come under fire (figuratively speaking) by the bigoted, reactionary townspeople of Prescott, Arizona.

Yep. Billy Jack's story really was as plain and simple as all of that.

This film was actually credited with helping to raise the level of awareness regarding the discrimination of Native Americans.

m
Monolith
May 28, 2012

Directed by tough guy Tom Laughlin (Billy Jack), and co-written with his wife, Delores Taylor (Jean Roberts). No big budget flick here. (It cost $800,000 to make, yet grossed over $65 million!) I do admire the hippies' values, to a certain extent. Flowers vs. guns. What an amazing concept. A losing battle, and somewhat naïve, though. Billy Jack's motto - "eye for an eye", dates back to at least biblical times, and undoubtedly way beyond. Basic human instinct.

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m
Monolith
May 28, 2012

Jean Roberts: "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 fairly applied to everyone, then I'll turn the other cheek too." Jean Roberts: "There's got to be a better way to change those people." Billy Jack: "CHANGE those people? You worked with (Martin Luther) King, didn't you?" Jean Roberts: "Yes." Billy Jack: "Where is he?" Jean Roberts: "Dead." Billy Jack: "And where's Bob and Jack Kennedy?" Jean Roberts: "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 their dogs, their bicycles, their cats, and their automobiles."

m
Monolith
May 28, 2012

Jean Roberts: "We'll go someplace else, someplace where it doesn't have to be like this." Billy Jack: "Oh, really? Tell me, where is that place? Where is it? In what remote corner of this country, no, the entire Goddamn planet is there such a place where men really care about another and really love each other? Now, you tell me where such a place is, and I promise you that I'll never hurt another human being as long as I live... JUST ONE PLACE!... (silence) ...That's what I thought."

m
Monolith
May 28, 2012

Billy Jack: "It's funny, isn't it? Only the white man wants everything put in writing. And only then so he can use it against you in court. You know, among the Indians a promise is good enough."

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