IMDb > Bite the Bullet (1975)
Bite the Bullet
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Bite the Bullet (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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Bite the Bullet -- Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen head an all-star cast that battle the trials of the rugged West in a grueling, 700-mile horse race.

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   3,422 votes »
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Director:
Writer:
Richard Brooks (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Bite the Bullet on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 May 1975 (Australia) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
In the tradition of Shane and High Noon, a new Western Classic is born! BITE THE BULLET See more »
Plot:
A group of ex-rough riders, an ex-prostitute and a gunfighter enter a horse race in the desert. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win See more »
User Reviews:
One of the Great '70s Westerns - Re: SlowMo and Animal Cruelty See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Directed by
Richard Brooks 
 
Writing credits
Richard Brooks (written by)

Produced by
Richard Brooks .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alex North 
 
Cinematography by
Harry Stradling Jr. (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
George Grenville 
 
Art Direction by
Robert F. Boyle  (as Robert Boyle)
 
Set Decoration by
Bob Signorelli  (as Robert Signorelli)
 
Makeup Department
Fred C. Blau Jr. .... makeup artist (as Fred Blau)
 
Production Management
Gene Levy .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Charles Bonniwell .... second assistant director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Ray Mercer Jr. .... property master (as Ray Mercer)
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recording
Al Overton Jr. .... sound
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound re-recording
Kay Rose .... sound editor
Richard Tyler .... sound re-recording
 
Special Effects by
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects
 
Stunts
Mario Arteaga .... stunts (uncredited)
William H. Burton Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
Robert F. Hoy .... stunts (uncredited)
Jimmy Nickerson .... stunts (uncredited)
Walter Scott .... stunts (uncredited)
Buddy Van Horn .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Clifford Hutchison .... chief electrician (as Cliff Hutchinson)
Tom May .... key grip
Richard Tim Vanik .... camera operator (as Tim Vanik)
 
Casting Department
Jeanne Swain .... casting: New Mexico (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Rita Riggs .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Don Roth .... assistant editor
Nancy Sammons .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Joan Biel .... music editor
Hershy Kay .... orchestration
 
Other crew
John Franco .... script supervisor
Al Horwits .... public relations
Rudy Ugland .... horses (as Rudy Ugland Jr.)
John Marshall .... subtitle script and timing (uncredited)
Lee Sollenberger .... animal trainer (uncredited)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
132 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The film was inspired by the 1908 700-mile cross-country horse race from Evanston, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado. It was sponsored by the Denver Post, which offered $2,500 prize money to the winner.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Sam Clayton takes the saddle off his horse at the end, it's clearly dry under the saddle, while 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 »
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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hot Lunch (1978)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
39 out of 47 people found the following review useful.
One of the Great '70s Westerns - Re: SlowMo and Animal Cruelty, 23 March 2002
Author: tonstant viewer

"Bite the Bullet" has a lot to chew on, and boasts a fine cast held firmly under control. Hackman gives his usual unobtrusive acting lesson, Coburn twinkles but not too much, and Bergen gives the first decent acting performance of her career (after Hackman chewed her out for her lack of professional skills and she requested his help).

Questions of greed, competition, teamwork, loyalty, betrayal and humanity are all given a good and non-medicinal airing. There's enough action here for the inert, and enough philosophy for the grownups.

There's been discussion in these reviews of the director's use of slow-motion. Slow motion is not used here to make intellectual points, it is an instrument of emotional expression. When one character in real time passes another in slow motion, it conveys to us how they both feel at that moment, and doesn't need to carry any other freight. As an expressive device, it works.

The question of animal abuse has also come up in these pages. In "Bite the Bullet" the horses are always photographed as heroes, often visually overwhelming their riders. Gene Hackman is shown from the beginning as a fighter of cruelty against animals, and every abuse he witnesses he then tries to remedy. The education of the Jan Michael Vincent character is a case in point.

Furthermore, this picture makes you care about the animals, unlike the traditional offhand Hollywood cruelty. Dozens of horses were killed to make the last reel of the Errol Flynn "Charge of the Light Brigade" and the film itself couldn't care less. You can see trip wires being used wholesale as late as in "Khartoum", and when those horses went down, they broke legs and were immediately shot, not pretend, for real.

Hollywood's excuse has always been that horses are expensive and they don't kill them thoughtlessly. Stunts are performed by circus horses, which presumably don't come to harm. We're told the only horses that get killed are old and already destined for the glue factory. Whether this justifies trip wires or not is up to you, but that's what they say.

"Bite the Bullet" comes off as sensitive and responsible by comparison. This is no snuff film. The Oscar-winning sound design makes you really care when the horses are supposed to be in distress.

A lot worse things happen to the human characters in just about every action-adventure film of the last twenty years. Is the "yuck" factor we're now trying to get used to more or less disgusting?

All in all, "Bite the Bullet" is a worthwhile film with content, humor and beauty. There's thousands of worse ways to spend your time than watching this movie.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Name of actor.. raider61
"Old Paint" emjee-1
Bergen's betrayal unbelievable. jhseeker
Fore shadowing (possible spoilers) lwi101
Dabney Coleman's Character crood
Ben Johnson should have received another Oscar danielj_old999
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