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It’s Not About The Hat – an ode to Billy Jack

It looks like the legend of Billy Jack lives on in the West today! I am reminded of my recent discovery of the re-release of this iconic movie and its anti-hero’s hero of an important civil rights movement. Read below.

The 1971 movie, Billy Jack and it’s prequel, Born Losers, will be screened by Cinefamily in Los Angeles on July 2nd. Director, producer, and star, Tom Laughlin will be in attendance.


by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

I watched the re-release of Born Losers over the weekend, the 1st of a series of 4 independent films featuring the character of Billy Jack, released between 1971 and 1977. I had seen the better-known three that followed this one the week before – for my full report, go here. It was then I found Born Losers and decided I wanted to complete my viewing experience.

This film is definitely more rough than the sequels, but what can I say? It was still the peaceful but fierce Billy Jack in his full but quiet glory. Despite the dated tone of all the films, I have had Billy Jack on the brain, complete with some intense episodic dreams. This morning, I woke up with this in my head – sort of my “ode to Billy Jack”:

Billy Jack fights quietly and steadily against what is unjust, with just a bit of swagger in his stride and a steely glaze in his eye.

Billy Jack knows when it’s too late, but it doesn’t ever stop him from tilting his hat to the sun and squinting, as if there is something he has missed.

Billy Jack doesn’t need to be liked, loved or revered. Because of this, he is liked, loved and revered.

Billy Jack owns many demons – they are internal warriors who protect rather than torment him.

Billy Jack always, but always, knows exactly what to do.

Billy Jack knows a good fight when he sees one and knows when to turn and walk away (cue swagger).


2 Responses to “It’s Not About The Hat – an ode to Billy Jack”

  1. phyllisdiehl Says:

    o.k. yu did it again…yu wetted my curiosity…i got to see this movie…..thanks for the tip, now, where do i get it.?

    hey husband and wife team, hmmmm, sounds familiar….

  2. Roger Hartsell Says:

    Nah, It’s ALL about the hat. I quit wearing hats this year. Being my age (???) and having a full lush head of hair, I have decided to FLAUNT IT!
    Just like Roy Rogers, it’s the white hat vs. black hat metaphor, just he’s a Robin Hood redux.
    Other iconic hats? Clint Eastwood in “Fistful of Dollars.” Dick Tracy or Frank Sinatra’s fedora.
    Hoss Cartwright’s 10-gallon. Sherlock Holmes bowler. And John Steed from “The Avengers.”
    Indiana Jones’ hatless? Abe Lincoln without a stovepipe?
    Any more you can add, fellow bloggers?

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