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


Overview

User Rating:
6.7/10   3,236 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
John Alvin .... poster artist
Ray Mercer Jr. .... property master (as Ray Mercer)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Les Fresholtz .... sound re-recordist
Al Overton Jr. .... sound
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound re-recordist
Kay Rose .... sound editor
Richard Tyler .... sound re-recordist
 
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
 
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 .... orchestrator
 
Other crew
John Franco .... script supervisor
Al Horwits .... public relations
Lee Sollenberger .... animal trainer
Rudy Ugland .... horses supplier (as Rudy Ugland Jr.)
John Marshall .... subtitle script and timing (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

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:
While on location in New Mexico in 1974 Paul Stewart suffered a heart attack.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: When Gene Hackman is racing the other rider in the ravine about halfway through the movie, tire tracks from the camera car are visible in the road bed.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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