Billy Jack
The most independent film ever made

  • Sold more tickets (58,000,000) than any independent film in history
  • Introduced Karate to U.S. audiences
  • Went through 3 studios (AIP, 20th Century Fox, WB) before being released
  • Groundbreaking advertising on 1973 rerelease

He’s a warrior, a mystic, a martyr, capturing the heart and soul of a generation. Embodying all these and more, BILLY JACK quickly became one of the most unorthodox and magnetic movie heroes of all time.
Tom Laughlin charismatically plays the title character, a half-breed Native American and ex-Green Beret returning to live in solitude on an Arizona reservation. He is drawn to the progressive Freedom School — and the idealistic woman (Delores Taylor) who runs it. But when tensions flare between the students and narrow-minded local bigots, Billy Jack becomes the school’s protector. Once again, violence finds him.
A box-office success with an attractive plot for modern-day youth. Tom Laughlin stars as a half-breed (half Indian, half white) war hero who fights bigotry and injustice with Karate-trained effectiveness. First released with little fanfare and dismissed by most critics, the film’s gut honesty struck a chord with audiences, who later made it a box-office giant — and a landmark film of its era.
It is the highest-grossing independent film of all time. The film was also among the first to introduce martial arts, specifically hapkido karate, to American audiences and also contained elements of Jungian psychology, the Ghost Dance religion, and the teachings of Wovoka.

== FILM SPECS ====
FORMAT: Color 1.85:1
YEAR RELEASED: 1971, 1973
RELEASED BY: Warner Bros.
== NOTES: ====
"Budgeted for $800,000, Billy Jack made $32 million in domestic rentals from a gross of nearly $98 million. Not bad for a relatively small risk ..." —
"Laughlin and Taylor surface so rarely because their movies are personal ventures, financed in unorthodox ways and employing the kind of communal chance-taking that Hollywood finds terrifying. The chances they take sometimes create flaws in their films, but flaws that suggest they were trying to do too much, never too little." — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
AMC Box Office Filmsite