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Billy Jack (1971) Poster

(1971)

Trivia

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The Hapkido fights were choreographed by Hapkido Master Soo-Han Bong. He was also Tom Laughlin's body double in the fight scenes.
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Tom Laughlin had no martial arts training before he started training for the movie. He studied under a master teacher for six months before filming started.
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The unusual kick that Billy Jack uses in the fight in the park is known in Hapkido as an "Outside Crescent Kick", in which the leg is raised and swung outward, striking with the outside edge of the foot.
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Initially a dud at the box office, Tom Laughlin set up further distribution for a re-release in 1973. This time, the film was an enormous hit.
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The type of hat Billy Jack wears is commonly called an Uncle Joe hat.
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Supposedly one of Elvis Presley's favorite films.
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Contract disputes between Tom Laughlin and various producers caused the film to change hands between three different film studios, and delaying its release for three years. In 1973, Laughlin filed a $51 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. studios for "improperly publicizing" the film.
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"Billy Jack" was a huge hit grossing $32,500,000 in the U.S. on a budget of $800,000. It grossed $98,000,000 worldwide.
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The film was directed by Tom Laughlin but all literature and the actual credits claim the director as T.C.Frank. This was a way for Tom Laughlin to honor his three children: Teresa, Christina, and Frank.
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Just before shooting on the picture began, several cast members tried to convince Tom Laughlin to not wear his black hat with the Indian bead band, saying they thought it looked silly. Laughlin fought back, wore the hat anyway and, of course, it became an iconic trademark of the Billy Jack character.
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The title song, "One Tin Soldier," recorded by the band Coven, was not written specifically for the film, which deemed the song ineligible at Oscar time.
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Howard Hesseman's first credited feature film role.
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The name Billy Jack was also used in Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre back in the late 1950's. Billy Jack was a punk gunman played by a very young Robert Vaughn.
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Elizabeth James was originally cast as Jean.
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David Roya, who played Bernard Posner, also had a bit role as the ship's radio operator in the 1976 version of "King Kong."
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Debbie Shock, who played Kit, was not a professional actress when she was chosen for the film. She was the babysitter for Tom Laughlin's children. Julie Webb, who played Barbara, was likewise not a professional - she was Shock's friend in real life.
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The film's sequel, "The Trial of Billy Jack," opened on 1500 screens nationwide at once, making it the single most accessible film in cinema history up to that point in time.
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Delores Taylor was nominated for the Golden Globe Award as Most Promising Newcomer Female in 1972.
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Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt watched this movie at Tarantino's house to prepare for filming "once upon a time . . . in Hollywood." They felt Tom Laughlin could have played the roll of Cliff
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

It is said that Marlon Brando considered Delores Taylor's post-rape scene to be one of the greatest scenes of acting he ever saw at any time. John Travolta has said in several interviews that the same scene was a huge contributor to why he chose to be an actor.
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During the Snake Ceremony, Billy Jack is bit by a rattlesnake five times.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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