6.7/10
4,522
46 user 30 critic

Bite the Bullet (1975)

A group of ex-rough riders, an ex-prostitute and a gunfighter enter a horse race in the desert.

Director:

Richard Brooks

Writer:

Richard Brooks
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gene Hackman ... Sam Clayton
Candice Bergen ... Miss Jones
James Coburn ... Luke Matthews
Ben Johnson ... Mister
Ian Bannen ... Sir Harry Norfolk
Jan-Michael Vincent ... Carbo
Robert Donner ... Reporter
Jean Willes ... Rosie
Mario Arteaga Mario Arteaga ... Mexican
Dabney Coleman ... Jack Parker
John McLiam ... Gebhardt
Bob Hoy ... Lee Christie (as Robert Hoy)
Jerry Gatlin Jerry Gatlin ... The Wood Cutter
Sally Kirkland ... Honey
Walter Scott ... Steve (as Walter Scott Jr.)
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Storyline

At the beginning of the 20th century, a newspaper organizes an endurance horse race: 700 miles to run in a few days. 9 adventurers are competing, among them a woman, Miss Jones, a Mexican, an Englishman, a young cowboy, an old one and two friends, Sam Clayton and Luke Matthews. All those individualists will learn to respect each other. Written by Yepok

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Western Classic in the tradition of 'Shane' and 'High Noon'. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 June 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

700 Meilen westwärts See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacob Lake, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Average Shot Length (ASL) = 5.5 seconds See more »

Goofs

When Jan-Michael Vincent's horse is shot in pursuit of the convicts, a rope, possibly used to create the fall, is seen trailing behind horse and rider. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gebhardt: I heard your newspaper is running an honest race.
Reporter: You heard right, Mr. Gebhardt.
Gebhardt: Who the hell handicapped this owlhead as the favorite?
J.B. Parker: The smart money!
Gebhardt: That's what we come to get.
See more »

Alternate Versions

UK version is cut (ca. 10 sec.) to remove sight of cruelty to horses (illegal horse falls) due to the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »

Connections

Featured in Behind the Action: Stuntmen in the Movies (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps the best Western made in the 1970s.
6 February 2002 | by jtchance1See all my reviews

In my mind this is almost a perfect movie. Writer-Director Richard Brooks delivered in my mind his best work since his 1960 blockbusters ELMER GANTRY and THE PROFESSIONALS. We have Brook's trademark crisp dialogue driving the epic about an endurance race set in the waning days of the american west. In place of Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin professionals we have James Coburn and Gene Hackman as the soldiers of fortune thrown into the circumstance of this race. They both give superior performances. Ably supporting them in what should have gotten him a second supporting actor Oscar is Ben Johnson. If there is any quibble at all with the film it is the casting of of Candice Bergen as the prostitute turned contestant. She simply looks too well preserved to have lived the life her character has placed before the audience. One interesting note about the film had the exchange of actors functioning in basically the same part over the course of the film. Paul Stewart who is uncredited starts the film out as the wealthy rancher Parker until about a quarter of the way through the film when with an ingenious use of a looped line Dabney Coleman appears as Parker's son taking over the character's function from that point on.I remember seeing this film in it's initial engagement at Radio City Music Hall and it is still a fresh and rewarding experience. It is a shame that the upcoming DVD release will have no special features. I know Mr Coburn recorded a commentary for THE MAGNIFICENT 7, Ms. Bergen did THE SAND PEBBLES, and Mr. Hackman did the FRENCH CONNECTION discs. It would have been great to hear stories from these fine actors about this shoot. At the very least it would be nice the have Alex North's Oscar nominated score isolated on the disc.


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