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Billy Jack

Started by lostmissy, August 23, 2001, 09:10:24 AM

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Steven Paul

Billy Jack was one of the most important films of our time.  Because Tom Laughlin was and is the only person that ever believed in a cause, was willing to fight for it, and put the message in his movies.  At first Born Losers was just a movie, the Motorcycle gang against Billy Jack and the young girls they victimized and raped.  Billy Jack was the original Rambo, but this guy was more then people ever knew.  He really believed in everything he stood for.  This especially came true after the surprise success of Billy Jack (the second BJ movie).  It became the greatest Independent film of all time, and sparked the most explosive sequel ever known (next to the Godfather movies).  I remember when the Trial Of Billy Jack came out, it played in 3 theatres (the first movie to ever to so).  In that movie you can start to see the political side come out more, with references to Nixon, Indian rights, child abuse, and police brutality (and the college masacres) which the whole movie was based upon. This movie reflected all real life stuff, everything you see in The Trial Of Billy Jack was not just some writers imagination.  The Laughlins really believed in all this stuff and poured their message into the films with raw emotion that has never been seen in film and hasnt been seen since.  They werent just acting, what they stood for in this movie, what they felt was based on the events of real life and what went on in the world.  Remember the final famous scene in the church where they sang Give Piece a Chance?  This scene was emotional not just for the audience that seen it, but for every actor who experienced it, the photographers, and the director.  Tell me a movie where that has ever been the case?  That is why it was so powerful, and only in a movie like Titanic has audiences been struck with such emotion again because the Titanic was real life (it happened) and James Cameron brought in into reality like no other has before.  Then finally Billy jack Goes To Washington, which was the most revealing film of all time about the corruption of Washington and the way that Congress is run, the way laws are passed, how payoffs, and special interests buy politicians into office and how they control the country.  We all know, the one who pays for the campaign funds, the elections, are the ones that buy the politicians into office.  How little envelopes with money are passed around, and bills are passed or denyed based upon the highest bidder.  No film ever before revealed clearly exactly the way Washington was run and still runs today.  How far does one go to protect their rights or what they believe in, or when does one let it go?  Tom laughlin (just as he does on his website today) brought everything into light in his movies.  His beliefs and convictions were the most important thing to him, not being famous, staying rich, or seeing how long he could keep a great career.  But by integrity in what he believed in.  We would have never seen those movies had it not been for that.  Billy Jack Goes To Washington was not even allowed to be released.  Tom laughlin and his entire cast were almost thrown out of Washington and arrested for filming it there.  USA is suppose to be a country where free expression is allowed,  but they would not allow that movie to be released and everything in it was true.  Billy Jack was much more then a movie, it was about someone who stood their ground, and stood up for what they believed in, and said it like it was.  Tom Laughin is still trying to change the world, even as a guy in his 70's he is planning to make a movie about his own election campaign (another independent film).  Check out the web site, and you dont have to agree with everything he says.  But Billy Jack stood for more then you'll ever know!  It was a movement, about people who wanted to stand up and change things.

Barney Gumbel

Bought this flick for $5.55 at a Walmart in southern California. Saw it first in the 70s but not again until New Year's 2004.
I remember how everybody back then wanted to be like Billy Jack. (hat and all). What I didn't remember was how blatantly political this movie was --and how much the politics take away from the movie itself, which could have been a classic in the right hands.
It's one of the few movies Hollywood can't co-opt with a remake either, as the noble savages now run money-making casinos from coast-to-coast. Native Americans are the real-life bossess in small southwestern towns from Ruidoso to Parker and Temecula. There are sure some great lines though and doubtless this movie had influences many movie makers (beyond Steven Segal)


I really wanted to like this movie when it came out but it was  simple, predictable and stupid...

Dave Munger

I think "The Trial of Billy Jack" is where the fake Hitler "law and order" quote came from that hippies use to get people to admit they're Nazis.
"'Something about law and order being good'. Do you agree with this statement?"
"Yeah, sure."
"That was an verbatim statement from Hitler!!!!!"
"Wow, I just crapped my pants. I guess I just have to admit I'm a Nazi now."


I saw "Billy Jack" during its original theatrical release and thought it was amazing and hip and cool.  I was 14 at the time, and I don't remember how I managed to get into an R rated movie.

Hadn't seen it since, and recently the husband and I were out shopping and found "BJ" in the bargain bin.  I raved about it, told him how cool it was, so we dropped $4.99 and bought it.  Mind you, my husband is eight years younger than me, so he missed out on a lot of the peace/love thang of the 1970s.  Anyway, we watched "BJ" and even I had to laugh.  "I guess this movie isn't as timeless as I thought," I said as one embarrassing scene after another unfolded.  I mean, sheesh, Freedom School?  Some of those "students" were obviously in their 30s and balding.  And what does one do with a diploma from the Freedom School?  Can you see yourself at a job interview..."no, I have no computer skills, but I get high on creating things...."

Mike Newton

   Obviously, many of the people who have seen this movie under-appreciate the Jungian neo-Classicism of the underlying mythos.  Plato's Myth of the Cave would not be an unrealistic metaphor to apply to this majestic film.  Billy, as Socrates, aids us in our understanding of life above the cave. . a life beyond shadow.  The town represents Hobbes idea of life as "Brutish, Nasty, and Short."  Billy--and Jean--lead us to a path of enlightened thought.  This film should be a must-see for anyone interested in what heights the human species is capable reaching.

Lance Del Goebel

I was born in 1961. I am German, Irish, Cherokee, Lakota, Cheyenne ( white skin ). This was the first movie I saw where Native Americans were shown as humans....and where the greed and selfishness of whites was highlighted for contrast with Native American environmentalism and spirituality.

Billy Jack was my hero...and the lines about there being no law, just a fight for survival when policemen break the law AND that we don't put the controls on our guns that we put on our cars and pets...are still valid, significant statements.

I think the people ripping Billy Jack on this site probably watch Fox "News" and actually believe they are watching news. They only accept what fits nicely in their narrow, agenda. This skin allows me to live among white people, and I'm here to tell you...Billy Jack portrayed white folks PERFECTLY....a race with a long history of almost no spirituality or morals of any kind ....and that, in my opinion, is why most on this site don't care for the film. I think Billy Jack was a great message movie.

The film is totally honest...and real honesty among white people is a rare happening, long since replaced by greed and hating in the name of Jesus.

Because of the message, the movie is timeless


Hi, great site. This film was banned in South Africa (along with "Born Losers" and "The Trial of Billy Jack"). We really had the most wonderful :( censorship system in the world!
We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.


Billy Jack was and is a great movie. For those that despised the "hippy" era of love, creative living and foresight, you despise yourself for your own life's failures and like the beef-witted miscreant that you are, you broadcast your self-hate across the Internet. Never fooling anyone but other cow-people who also loathe themselves, verily it is so.



I too thought this movie was SO cool when I saw it, I was only 10 years old.  I watched it again bout 5 years ago & the stupidity, cheesiness, bad acting, directing, everything about it made me cringe. Which makes me believe that if this movie really only appealed to an average 10 year old, HOW did it ever get released at all.  The Trial was, if possible, even worse.
   Oh, BTW, people that want to internalize rants about this God-awful movie into a personal racist attack should hurry to their nearest Jungian psychotherapist to be cured immediately of their insight-lacking, paranoid proselytzing. Now LAUGH already!!

Joseph Ulibas

Billy Jack is the man.  They should have focused more on his kicking heads in insyead of the lame Freedom School sub-plot.
Oh well, we'll always have Born Losers to fall back on (Tom Laughlin's white-exploitation/Biker opus).  Now that's a movie for true Billy Jack fans.  Nothing but bbone crunching fights, hardcore characters, snappy dialogue and sleaze bby the truck load.  He really went over board when he made Trial of Billy
Jack.  A movie that's nothing more than a celluloid self-pleasuring act.  Three hours long!!!


Sure the movie sucks, but it has that mysterious thing that makes us talk about it, way more than "Yentl" or "Bugsy Malone". I just like looking at it, the park and the signs and the goddamn hippies.


 I remember watching BJ when i was a boy & loving the movie then , Yesterday i bought the hole collection of BJ movies & watched them all & all i can say is that nothing has changed at all , i still love watching them . THANKS TOM LAUGHLIN .


I usually dont post comments to message boards, but I am seriously disturbed by some of the things I am reading here.  Obviously you know nothing about the Vietnam Conflict or else you could restrain yourself from calling the pacifist movement 'crap.'  Also, these types of movies were not ment to be entertaining, but educational and inspiring.  If you cannot grasp the message in this movie then you dont deserve fingers.


Thanks for the opportunity to talk about something so near and dear to my heart. This movie gave me HOPE when I was a teenager in the 70's. I am of mixed descent, with some Native American, and I don't really look it, except for the eyes.  I am proud of who I am, but at that time I had no home life to speak of, no one to talk to about things and no one to look up to. When I saw "Billy Jack" the first time, I was hooked. I learned that there are people out there who care, I mean REALLY care about KIDS. Even if it was just a movie, It gave me something to look forward to when I grew up. I learned that I wanted to be a "good" person and to help people. I also learned that I could turn the other cheek, but also to fight for what I believed in. For once I had something to believe in. I thought Teresa was so lucky to have parents like Tom and Delores Laughlin. I wanted to be her. I bought the soundtrack and learned all the songs. I cut out pictures that showed that this movie was playing at our local drive-in and glued them to cardboard so they would last longer and not get "dog-eared". Lastly, I went when I was old enough and on my own... and learned karate.
Make fun of it all you want and say it's a bad movie, but it inspired me as a young person and gave me the will to go on.
I'm proud of who I was, who I wasn't and who I am.
Tom Laughlin is my hero, and I now have his picture as my wall paper on my pc. I have the vhs, dvd's and soundtrack. It inspired me then, and still does today. I wish Tom a healthy future, I know he had been ill. I love you Tom, you're in my prayers...
"You know me, and you know my meaning..."
Bless-ed Be