Review: ‘Billy Jack’

Billy Jack appears to be a labor of love in which the plight of the American Indian, are pinpointed.

Billy Jack appears to be a labor of love in which the plight of the American Indian, are pinpointed.

Produced by National Student Film Corp, Warners bought picture outright. Leading character is a half-breed named Billy Jack, guardian of the Redman’s rights and nemesis of any white who may intrude on these rights. He finds plenty of opportunity to assert himself, what with defending wild horses on the Arizona reservation, wild kids, a school on the reservation, and the actions of residents of a neighboring town violently opposed both to the school and Billy himself.

Screenplay attempts to encompass too many story facets. Result is that the action frequently drags and interest palls as some of the young people in the school, many of them white, spout their philosophy and question the behavior of the whites.

Tom Laughlin, as the invincible defender, is firstrate, handling himself effectively. So, too, does Delores Taylor, a white woman who runs the school. Clark Howat, as the sheriff who understands the Indians’ problems, is convincing.

Billy Jack


National Student. Director T.C. Frank [= Tom Laughlin]; Producer Mary Rose Solti; Screenplay T.C Frank, Teresa Christina [= Delores Taylor]; Camera Fred Koenekamp, John Stephens; Editor Larry Heath, Marion Rothman; Music Mundell Lowe


(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 115 MIN.


Tom Laughlin Delores Taylor Clark Howat Bert Freed Julie Webb Ken Tobey
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