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Billy Jack


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Billy Jack
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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, Clark Howat, Victor Izay, Bert Freed
  • Directors: Tom Laughlin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: May 19, 2009
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (235 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001D25LX0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #122,004 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Billy Jack" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Billy Jack (DVD)

Customer Reviews

Because he believes in peace!
Lance
I also have to admit that people who look like me did a lot of bad stuff to people who don't look like me, and that the scars from that will take time to fully heal.
Free Thinker
I love this movie the first time I saw it, and I still love it today.
Dan Blankenship

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

92 of 104 people found the following review helpful By P. I. Johnson on July 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I have always been puzzled by the hostile reaction of critics to Billy Jack. The puzzling aspect is not the negativity itself, but rather the almost blanket misrepresentation or - to be charitable - misunderstanding, of what the movie is about. Thus potential buyers are disserviced by the prevailing conventional wisdom i.e. "Billy Jack preaches peace while practising violence"; "Billy Jack wants to have its cake and eat it with regard to pacifism"; "the film is hypocritical" etc. In reality, the character of Billy Jack NEVER preaches peace. The only hint of this being true comes when he REJECTS Delores Taylor's view that violence in the face of violent bigotry won't solve anything. Given his instincts as a Shoshone warrior and a Green Beret trained (ironically by the US government) for war - against the extent of brutality of the bigots he faces, there is clearly no room for touchy-feely encounter sessions. These morons are not merely exercising speech, thought or association, but systematic physical violence on the defenceless. So Billy Jack's struggle to reconcile his violent rage with the principles of the Freedom School is a lost cause from the outset(which Billy himself admits when - referring to his efforts to embrace the pacifist influence of the Freedom School - he says to a racist bully, "I try, I really try ... but when I see this girl of such a beautiful spirit suffer this indignity ... I just go BERSERK! ") To critics safely weaned on the quiet, unthreatening dignity of Sidney Poitier, the Billy Jack character threatened equivalent response to oppression that cared neither for the approval, feelings or physical well-being of knowing oppressors. Revolutionary indeed!Read more ›
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53 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Tesi on April 10, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Some people just don't get it. Tom Laughlin wrote the script, directed, starred, and controlled distribution for Billy Jack because no major studio wanted to support a film that exposed bigotry and prejudice in Amercian society. Laughlin staged a one man stand against the commercial capitalists who controlled the movie industry and won. Laughlin's unprecendented move to control the film's distribution rights opened the door for future independent film making to reach mass audiences. Laughlin's struggle against studio powers mirrored Billy Jack's inner angst towards violence, peace, and civil libertites. Sure the film's message of a counterculture existing in a deeply rooted, cynical, white Southern/Western community seems overbearingly blatant, but the film still stands firm as a testimony of one man challenging the morals and values that define his world. Who cares if the Indian attire used in the spirtual dance did not comform to the actual Indian dress used in such a ceremony? There have been many big budget Hollywood extravaganzas that neglected to follow proper uniform codes. Check out Tora Tora Tora and many of the medals, stripes, and,insignias used on the military uniforms are incorrect. The fight scenecs in Billy Jack, which Laughlin also coreographed, are exceptional. No film has been able to capture the realistic grace, power, and balance of martial arts evident in Billy Jack. Until Billy Jack no Hollywood film dealt with the inconsistences and racism towards Native Amercian Indians that exists in our country. If Billy Jack's message was too strong and straightforward for the Amercian public to swallow, then these critics should stay home and watch the old cowboy and Indian movies that feature the All-American hero John Wayne. I'll take Billy Jack, I mean Tom Laughlin anyday.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John D. Page on April 4, 2007
Format: DVD
If like me you grew up in the 70's you KNEW who Billy Jack was and what he was about. If you didn't you must have been under a rock because Billy was everywhere. This isn't a great movie as much as it is a time-capsule of 60's and 70's ideas placed in what now is a simple action story.

Tom Laughlin stars,writes and directs this pagan to the "hippie" counter-culture of the time. The fact that the "heroes" in this movie are now annoying and not very sympathetic goes to show why the movement died out. Billy protects the "FREEDOM SCHOOL" from fat rednecks who want it gone. He talks about peace but if you disagree with him this Green Beret,half-breed Indian will beat you into the ground. Along for the ride are many bad folk songs and comedy skits that are jammed into this one with a shoe horn. I still enjoy this dinosaur of another era, but to be fair it hasn't aged very well. Still it is a lasting tribute to an era's believes and that makes it worth a look.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SORE EYES on October 23, 2009
Format: DVD
Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin)is a half-breed American/Cherokee with a slightly shady background as a Green Beret and hapkido master. Billy Jack has returned to his native reservation to protect it from the local "good ol' boys" which threaten to exploit the reservation's resources and shut down the counterculture high school which operatres on reservation territory. The movie opens with a dramatic scene of wild horses being corralled into a make-shift pen while one of the locals shoots them in a "canned hunt" so he can sell the horse meat. The scene is an analogy for the themes of corruption and injustice that pervade the film.

I was six when I first watched Billy Jack as a late night rerun on a ten inch TV screen. The remastered DVD with dolby sound and widescreen are a vast improvement on my original viewing experience.

Billy Jack might seem a little laughable now, but it was a huge blockbuster in it's time. It can be emotionally manipulative, self-righteous, and too politically correct. But it is interesting to watch and consider the incredible influence in had on 70's popular culture. Billy Jack's black hat with a bead headband and black t-shirt were as popular in the 1970's as James Dean's white t-shirt with rolled sleeves was after Rebel Without a Cause (Two-Disc Special Edition) in the 1950's. We've come a long way as an audience. After watching Billy Jack you'll think we've probably lost a little too much our innocence and naivete. Laughlin is charasmatic and nice to watch on screen. His wife, Delores Taylor, plays the leader of the school. Her pacifism in the face of a brutal rape on the grounds that "it's for the kids" will make modern feminists cringe.
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