Sci-fans.com looks at:
Billy Jack Goes To Washington
Tagline: The Most Dangerous Billy Jack of Them All!
The Billyjack.com website calls it "A movie with so much incredible stuff even Suzanne Sommers got left on the cutting room floor."
In an excerpt from the Amazing Story
Behind the Legend of Billy Jack, Tom and Delores recall one Senator's vendetta against Billy Jack Goes to Washington:
The personal theater in the Laughlins' Brentwood home was filled with celebrities and powerful politicians. Indiana Senator Vance Hartke was there with his wife, Diana. So was Lucy Arnaz, and her legendary mother, Lucille Ball, and all the contacts the powerful usually bring along. They had gathered in the Laughlins' Rockingham home that night for a special screening of "Billy Jack Goes to Washington."
The screening seemed to go well. Generous comments were exchanged, and the small, but influential, crowd appeared to be gripped by the action on the screen. But when the final credits rolled through the projector and the lights came back up, Laughlin was greeted by an unexpected scene.
The Senator from Indiana got up and started screaming at him -- “You communist son of a bitch! I absolutely guarantee you, you will never get this picture released. Everything you have, this house, everything, in one year -- gone! You're dead.”
Then, kicking over chairs he charged at Laughlin, but those around him were able to restrain the enraged Senator who was now storming out of the house and violently pushing the gate open with such furious force that he broke the electric motor. Hartke's wife was in tears, embarrassed, and Delores and Lucy were trying to comfort her, as she apologized for an outburst that had surprised and hurt her more than anyone in that room. It was an awkward moment, and it lingered until the celebrities and politicians said their goodnights and filed out of the house.
As it would turn out, the small group gathered at Rockingham that night had attended one of the only screenings "Billy Jack Goes to Washington" would ever have. The picture would never be released, just as Hartke promised.
* SCRIPT: Tom Laughlin, based on Screenplay by Sidney Buckman, Story by Lewis R. Foster
* PRODUCER: Frank Capra Jr., Delores Taylor, DIRECTOR: Tom Laughlin
* CAST: Tom Laughlin, Delores Taylor, E.G. Marshall, Sam Wannamaker, Pat O'Brien, Lucy Arnaz, Teresa Laughlin
Note from Bill Laidlaw of Sci-fans.com: Frank Capra Jr. is mentioned in the credits. His father made the original "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington" (1939, see below), and Laughlin bought the movie rights in order to do his remake. When I took Film 101 in college, one of the films we studied was the 1939 film. Frank Capra Sr., was so proud of his film about the little guy exposing corruption in Washington and the lap-dog Washington Press Corps that never asked hard questions about it, that he premiered the movie in Washington D.C., and invited all the movers and shakers of the day. Halfway thru the movie, the first two people got up and walked out (two Washington reporters). Throughout the rest of the showing, Senators, Congressmen and others got up and walked out. Capra, an immigrant proud of his adopted country, was perplexed that so many in the Washington audience identified with the corrupt insiders instead of the crusading Jimmy Stewart character.
"Billy Jack" availability on video and on DVD from Amazon.com
This videotape/DVD is available from their website - Additional information on all the Billy Jack movies can be seen at the official website: www.BillyJack.com
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington