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Billy Jack (1971)

Billy Jack is a half-Indian ex-Green Beret veteran and karate expert. Damaged by the Vietnam War he now spends his time roaming the Arizona desert.

Circumstances lead to him helping the local Freedom School – a multi-racial halfway house and haven for runaways, orphans, and disturbed or abused kids – which is suffering antagonism from local citizens.

The town is a haven for some pretty ugly citizens. When the daughter of the deputy sheriff tells him she’s pregnant, he beats her up. She runs away and is taken by Billy Jack to the school. One of the town’s leading citizens, his reprobate son, the girl’s father and several cohorts then take to violence to get the girl back.

Directing himself (under the name of TC Frank), Tom Laughlin also starred in what was very much a family affair (co-star and co-scriptwriter Delores Taylor was Laughlin’s wife).

Billy Jack achieved a surprisingly good return at the box office in spite of its humble origins and its perverted approach of preaching peace through violence. The film began life at AIP but was moved to Fox and then to Warner. Laughlin took it back from Warner in 1973 and made it a very profitable cult hit.

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Billy Jack
Tom Laughlin
Jean Roberts
Delores Taylor
Sheriff Cole
Clark Howat
Stuart Posner
Bert Freed
Barbara
Julie Webb
Bernard
David Roya
Deputy Sheriff Mike
Kenneth Tobey
Kit
Debbie Schock
Martin
Stan Rice
Carol
Teresa Kelly
Maria
Katy Moffatt
Cindy
Susan Foster
Sarah
Lynn Baker
Sunshine
Susan Sosa
Angela
Gwen Smith
Dinosaur
John McClure
Miss Eyelashes
Cissie Colpitts
OK Corrales
Alan Myerson

Director
TC Frank (Tom Laughlin)