Synopsis by Mark Deming
After Billy Jack belatedly became a box-office smash two years after its original release and The Born Losers, the biker film in which Tom Laughlin created the Billy Jack character, had enjoyed a highly successful re-release, Tom Laughlin brought everyone's favorite martial arts hero turned Native American mystic back to the screen for a third go-round in The Trial of Billy Jack. As Billy Jack (Tom Laughlin) awaits trial for murder, Jean Roberts (Delores Taylor) continues to operate her "Freedom School" on an Indian reservation, where the student-operated television station comes under fire for airing a series of hard-hitting political exposes (just how an alternative school run by threadbare hippies obtained cameras, broadcasting equipment and an FCC license is not explained here). The attempts to silence the student journalists and run Billy Jack out of town lead to a deadly confrontation between the kids and the National Guard. Tom Laughlin wrote and directed The Trial of Billy Jack, though on-screen credit is given to his son, Frank Laughlin; similarly, Laughlin also directed the first two films under the name T.C. Frank.
against-the-system, anti-hero, bureaucracy, government, oppression, peace, school