October 23: The Trial of Billy Jack

The Trial of Billy Jack

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The Trial of Billy Jack

Facing an involuntary manslaughter wrap, anti-establishment bad ass Billy Jack is back to defend the liberal teachings of the Freedom School, and Native American rights from racism and political corruption in The Trial of Billy Jack. Picking up where the counter culture sensation Billy Jack (1971) left off, Trial is told through flashback by Freedom School teacher Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor reprising her role), but not even Billy Jack’s psychedelic vision quest can keep the FBI or the Governor from targeting the school – setting up a tense clash with the National Guard – reminiscent of the Kent State campus shootings in 1970. Iconic filmmaker and action-hero-with-a-cause Tom Laughlin captured the hearts of America’s moviegoing audience with tremendously satisfying martial arts sequences of goons getting their comeuppance, while cashing in with a staggering box office take of $89 million – due to his never before employed “wide release” strategy that studios would quickly copy. Decked out in denim with an Indian beaded hat band around his black hat, Billy Jack remains one of the most mesmerizing cinematic martial arts stars of any era.

Tom Laughlin
Elmer Bernstein
Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor
Running Time
170 minutes

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