I recently rewatched this and, though the script is corny and preachy somewhat, I think Delores Taylor was quite fantastic in it. Was there any Oscar buzz surrounding her performance…..or the movie. It was a huge box office hit.
I don’t think those films ever generated much Oscar buzz. Tom Laughlin did resign from the Academy, though, but not because they failed to nominate any of the Billy Jack films. He resigned in protest because he was disgusted that Woody Allen won Best Director for Annie Hall over George Lucas for Star Wars: A New Hope. He even said that had he remained a member of the Academy, he would have resigned in 2013 following Ben Affleck’s directing snub for Argo. He explains it all in this video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po38-JuzpXU