Billy Jack Goes to Washington
The Billy Jack film that was so controversial it was kept from being released
- starring: Tom Laughlin, E.G. Marshall, Pat O’Brien, Sam Wannamaker
- A electrifying update of ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’
- Blasted by a U.S. Senator for its nuclear energy expose
- The film debut of Lucy Arnaz (daughter of Lucille Ball)
- Score composed by legendary Elmer Bernstein
At a pre-release screening in Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator xx Harkey interrupted the screening screaming Tom Laughlin was a communist, that this film would never be released, and that everything Tom and Delores had would be wiped out. Several years later, his prediction came true.
An update of the classic Frank Capra film, ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’, BJGW centers on the corruption of government that is going to allow a nuclear reactor to be built in a known seismic area with potentially devastating consequences. When Billy tries to expose the corruption, the full weight of powerbroker Bailey (Sam Wannamaker) comes crashing down around him to not only shut him up, but frame Billy for conspiracy. It all seems hopeless until Senator Payne (E.G. Marshall) takes a fateful step.
After a senator suddenly dies after completing (and sealing) an investigation into the nuclear power industry, the remaining senator and the state governor must decide on a person who will play along with their shady deals and not cause any problems. They decide on Billy Jack, currently sitting in prison after being sent to jail at the end of his previous film, as they don’t expect him to be capable of much, and they think he will attract young voters to the party. Billy is pardoned, released and nominated, after which he begins his duties. He soon notices that things aren’t right, and starts trying to find out just what is going on.