Billy Jack (1971)
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Let’s go back to 1971.
Billy Jack is a 1971 action/drama independent film, the second of four films centering on a character of the same name which began with the movie The Born Losers (1967), played by Tom Laughlin, who directed and co-wrote the script.
Filming began in Prescott, Arizona, in the fall of 1969, but the movie was not completed until 1971. American International Pictures pulled out, halting filming. 20th Century-Fox came forward and filming eventually resumed but when that studio refused to distribute the film, Warner Bros. stepped forward.
Still, the film lacked distribution, so Laughlin booked it into theaters himself in 1971.
The film grossed $10 million in its initial run, but eventually added close to $50 million in its re-release with distribution supervised by Laughlin
Source: Sal Amato