The Frank Capra classic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, was invoked often during the recent debate about filibusters. Mostly forgotten is the 1976 “remake,” Billy Jack Goes to Washington. Here’s a plot summary, courtesy iMDB:
After a senator suddenly dies after completing (and sealing) an investigation into the nuclear power industry, the remaining senator and the state governor must decide on a person who will play along with their shady deals and not cause any problems. They decide on Billy Jack, currently sitting in prison after being sent to jail at the end of his previous film, as they don’t expect him to be capable of much, and they think he will attract young voters to the party. Billy is pardoned, released and nominated, after which he begins his duties. He soon notices that things aren’t right, and starts trying to find out just what is going on.
Now, there’s a movie with everything Hollywood loves: sleazy corporations, sleazy politicians, a wronged “little guy,” vengeance, etc., etc. etc. I’m glad I missed it.
The director and star of the movie was Tom Laughlin. Other than making “B” movies, his claims to fame seem to be that he beat up Gene Wilder (when he and Wilder were in high school) and garnered 147 votes in the 2004 New Hampshire primary.
Oh, and the producer of the movie was none other than Frank Capra Jr. A rather little chip off the old block.