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

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mario Arteaga ...
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John McLiam ...
Robert F. Hoy ...
Lee Christie (as Robert Hoy)
Jerry Gatlin ...
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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:

In the tradition of Shane and High Noon, a new Western Classic is born! BITE THE BULLET See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 May 1975 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Muerde la bala  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whilst on location in New Mexico in 1974, Paul Stewart suffered a heart attack. See more »

Goofs

The song heard as the train leaves the station is "The Army Goes Rolling Along". This song was written in March of 1908 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. So, it's unlikely that it would be played by a band in the Rocky Mountains that same year. Musical trends spread far more slowly in the first decade of the twentieth century. It wasn't officially adopted by the Army until 1956. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Hot Lunch (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Horse don't give a damn who wins the race. Me either."

If "Bite the Bullet" sentimentalizes the independence and force of ordinary men without glamor who have to struggle for a prize in a hard, bitter, and lonely environment, it also examines the cruel or inhumane treatment often inflicted on animals…

"Bite the Bullet" is an all-star Western about a 700-mile horse race that takes place in the middle of 'Nowhere, USA' at the turn of the last century, for a chance to win the grand prize of $2000…

At the head of the line is Gene Hackman, an ex-Rough Rider who believes in caring for lame animals, and despises cruelty to horses, ladies in distress, lost kids and lost causes…Hackman has got the heart, and at the film's climax, he is the sleeper—the one to beat…

His old-timer friend from fighting days at San Juan Hill is James Coburn, a natural-born gambler who certainly can't afford to lose… He just bet everything on this race, and got seven-to-one… Coburn and Hackman have a great chemistry together, and their friendly rivalry imposes the name of the game…

Also riding: Candice Bergen, who has 'two thousand reasons' to compete in the race; Ben Johnson who desperately wants to win the prize to be a man to remember; Ian Bannen, the tough Englishman who comes 5,000 miles to beat the best; Mario Arteaga, the cool Mexican who needs the money for his loving family in spite of suffering from unbearable toothache; and Jan Michael-Vincent who brings the lower calibrations of judgment, antagonism, and rage to his interactions... This punk kid certainly has a knack of provoking a man to violence… He soon will be in his own best way to learn some life lessons from 'real' cowboys...

Brooks' movie has the courage to show how beauty can flourish in our treatments for animals… He accomplished a film that is beautifully photographed and expertly put together… Brooks leaves a whole host of abiding impressions through his nine riders' true character…


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