After a professional gambler kills a Confederate soldier, he finds a map pinpointing the location in the desert where stolen army gold bullion is buried and he plans to retrieve it but others are searching for it too.
William A. Graham
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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 cow-boy, an old one and two friends, Sam Clayton and Luke Matthews. All those individualists will learn to respect each other. Written by
When Sam Clayton takes the saddle off his horse at the end, it's clearly dry under the saddle, whilst the rest of the horse is wet and lathered. The lather and dampness is clearly fake sweat, as it would be soaked under he saddle also. See more »
I heard your newspaper is running an honest race.
You heard right, Mr. Gebhardt.
Who the hell handicapped this owlhead as the favorite?
The smart money!
That's what we come to get.
See more »
A good cast, some nice photography and an interesting story about a 700-mile horse race make "Bite The Bullet" kind of underrated western. You don't hear it mentioned much in "Favorite Westerns" lists.
The only drawbacks for me were a little too much language and that grundgy-70s feel to it that movies in that decade had to them, even in westerns. Having grown up with "Shane," and a bunch of westerns on TV, I still wasn't quite used to what I heard here when this came out 30 years ago. Nowadays, this is mild stuff.
This is a fairly long film at 131 minutes but it moves fast. Gene Hackman plays the tough-but-humane hero. The rest of the contestants in this race are all interesting, too. Each is given a little profile of themselves and include Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Jan-Michael Vincent, Ben Johnson and Ian Bannen.
In addition, there are some memorable scenes such as a horse literally dropping dead; a man poisoned, a woman with a "different agenda" an old man hanging on and a bad-turned-good kid. It's a nice mixture.
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