Who remembers Billy Jack?
Billy Jack is a "Half-breed" American Cherokee Indian, a Green Beret Vietnam War veteran, and a hapkido master. The character made his début in The Born Losers (1967), a "biker film" about a motorcycle gang terrorizing a California town. Billy Jack rises to the occasion to defeat the gang by defending a college student who has evidence against them for gang rapes.
This changes with the second film, Billy Jack, in which the hero must defend the hippie-themed
Freedom School and its students from townspeople who do not understand
or like the counterculture students. The school is organized by Jean
Roberts (Delores Taylor).
In one scene, a group of Indian children from the school go into town
for ice cream and are refused service and then abused and humiliated by
Bernard Posner and his gang. This prompts a violent outburst by Billy.
Later, Billy's girlfriend Jean is raped and one of the Indian students
is murdered by Bernard (David Roya), the corrupt son of the county's
most successful (and ruthless) businessman (Bert Freed).
Billy confronts Bernard and sustains a gunshot wound before killing him
with a hand strike to the throat. After a climactic shootout with the
police, and much pleading from Jean, he surrenders to the authorities
and is arrested. As he is being driven away, a large crowd of supporters
raise their fists into the air as a show of defiance and support. The
plot continues in the sequel, The Trial of Billy Jack.
See Votes by State