PS: A couple of weeks later I got hired as secretary to the Head of the Music Department at Warner Bros. He was a left-handed Leo. It didn’t work out.
PPS: Tom Laughlin did make a distribution deal in 1971 for Billy Jack with Warner Bros. but sued them and re-released it himself in 1973, when it earned forty million dollars the first year. He was a student of Hapkido, and performed many of his own stunts. In some scenes he used a double—his teacher, Master Bong Soo Han. From Roger Ebert’s review: “I’m also somewhat disturbed by the central theme of the movie. Billy Jack seems to be saying the same thing as Born Losers, that a gun is better than a constitution in the enforcement of justice. Is democracy totally obsolete, then? Is our only hope that the good fascists defeat the bad fascists? . . . Billy Jack arrives at a conclusion that is only slightly more encouraging.”
E.G. Swarthout wrote this first as fiction, in Rick Peabody’s class at St. John’s College, 1986. Then she decided enough time had passed to write the real story.