We Love Billy Jack...!

Billy Jack Music, Trivia, Movie, Review, Pictures, Photos, Tom Laughlin & Billy Jack Hat Trivia

* Here are some still pictures from the first Billy Jack Movie *

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ONE TIN SOLDIER
Love The Music? (The Legend of Billy Jack)

Words and Music by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter Copyright 1969 by ABC / Dunhill Music, Inc.

Listen children to a story that was written long ago
'bout a kingdom on a mountain and the valley folk below.
On the mountain was a treasure buried deep beneath a stone,
and the valley people swore they'd have it for their very own.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin' come the judgment day
on the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.

So the people of the valley sent a message up the hill
asking for the buried treasure, tons of gold for which they'd kill.
Came an answer from the kingdom: "With our brothers we will share
all the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there."

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin' come the judgment day
on the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.

Now the valley cried with anger; mount your horses, draw your sword,
and they killed the mountain people, so they won their just reward.
Now they stood beside the treasure on the mountain, dark and red,
turned the stone and looked beneath it. "Peace on earth" was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.
Do it in the name of heaven, justify it in the end.
There won't be any trumpets blowin' come the judgment day
on the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.


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Movie and Hat Trivia and Review:

The hat Tom Laughlin wore in the film was actually a Halloween present from his daughter T.C.

Although filming began in Prescott, Arizona, in fall 1969, American International Pictures pulled out of the production, halting filming. Twentieth Century Fox came in and filming eventually resumed, but when that studio refused to distribute the film, Warner Bros. took over.

The film was released in the spring of 1971 after more than one year of shooting. It opened in Cincinnati, Ohio, only, on April 19, 1971. The film lacked distribution, so Laughlin took it to theaters himself. He had had terrific problems with the studio; at one time the studio had taken the masters with plans to reedit the film without him. Laughlin actually sued Warner Bros. for millions and ended up settling
years later for a six-figure payoff.

The theme song by Coven, "One Tin Soldier," was a hit on the Billboard charts.
The film died at the box office in its initial run but took in more than $40 million in its 1973 rerelease,
which was supervised by Laughlin.

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Billy Jack Movie Review:

Billy Jack is a moving movie that the critics dissed, yet people took to heart as they went in droves to theaters when it came out. It spoke of human dignity and courage. True, Billy got his butt kicked in that incredible fight scene in the park, but the message to be true to your ideals of community still prevails. The movie builds on the premise that concern for social justice is worth standing up for. The impromptu nature of some of this film, such as the town meeting, or the quality of the little girl's singing at her friends prompting, gives this movie a earthy, homemade quality that makes it easy to forgive the deliberate and unusual looseness and long cuts. This movie defies established Hollywood formulas in the way it was made. The more I watch it, the more I appreciated it's landmark quality by it's in your face attitude to the way most movies are designed with profits and assume a lazy short attention spanned audience. The character development is exceptional, we understand Billy right from the beginning. He is the thread that keeps the community of diverse people he so loves together. His willingness for selfless sacifice to stand up for them is as moving as Kesey's "One Flew Over the Cookoos Nest". I recommend savoring this movie more then once as there is scope and depth that is hard to completely absorb in just one sitting. It has it's flaws, but nobody can dare to take risks and be innovative without them. See this film, there is nothing quite like it...


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