6.8/10
4,214
41 user 26 critic

Bite the Bullet (1975)

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:
... Sam Clayton
... Miss Jones
... Luke Matthews
... Mister
... Sir Harry Norfolk
... Carbo
... Reporter
... Rosie
Mario Arteaga ... Mexican
... Jack Parker
... Gebhardt
... Lee Christie (as Robert Hoy)
Jerry Gatlin ... The Wood Cutter
... Honey
... 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:

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Release Date:

1 May 1975 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

700 Meilen westwärts  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$11,000,000, 31 December 1975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three cinema movies where actor Gene Hackman played a character with the first name of "Sam". The feature films are Bite the Bullet (1975) - Sam Clayton ; Company Business (1991) - Sam Boyd ; and The Chamber (1996) - Sam Cayhall. 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 »

Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Endurance And Character
24 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

Bite The Bullet, a most unusual western from the pen and the direction of Richard Brooks. It concerns a rather strange camaraderie that develops between the seven participants in a horse race out west.

This is not a race for speed, this is a test of endurance for seven miles through the desert in the American southwest. The seven participants are Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, Candice Bergen, Jan-Michael Vincent, Ian Bannen, and Mario Artaega.

All these people have their own reasons for wanting the $2000.00 prize offered by the newspaper sponsoring the event. Hackman and Coburn are old friends already and Coburn's hoping Hackman will throw the race his way because he's up over his head in bets he can't pay off should he lose. Ben Johnson's an old timer just wanting to be remembered for doing something important in his life. Ian Bannen is an English Lord who thinks it's all jolly good sport. Candice Bergen is both striking a blow for women and sending money to her jailed husband. She works for madam Jean Willes when not racing. Jan-Michael Vincent is a punk kid with something to prove and Mario Artaega is just a poor guy looking for a stake to feed his family.

It's about the animals as well, this is not the Kentucky Derby for a mile and a quarter. The horses have to be looked after if they make it through a rough 700 miles. They kind of bind the characters together in a strange way.

Bite The Bullet is not long on plot, but very deep in characterization and it works here just like it works in the Sam Peckinpah classic, Junior Bonner. Even those that don't endure develop wellsprings of character they never thought they had. It's a good film and the ending shows something about character and friendship.


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