Bite the Bullet (1975)

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    There are 13 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by ethanedwards.

    • Bite the Bullet (1975)



      Photo with the courtesy of Gorch
      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      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 Yepok

      Full Cast
      Gene Hackman ... Sam Clayton
      Candice Bergen ... Miss Jones
      James Coburn ... Luke Matthews
      Ben Johnson ... Mister
      Ian Bannen ... Sir Harry Norfolk
      Jan-Michael Vincent ... Carbo
      Robert Donner ... Reporter
      Jean Willes ... Rosie
      Mario Arteaga ... Mexican
      Dabney Coleman ... Jack Parker
      John McLiam ... Gebhardt
      Robert F. Hoy ... Lee Christie (as Robert Hoy)
      Jerry Gatlin ... The Wood Cutter
      Sally Kirkland ... Honey
      Walter Scott ... Steve (as Walter Scott Jr.)
      William H. Burton ... Billy (as Bill Burton)
      Buddy Van Horn ... Slim
      Joe Brooks
      Lucia Canales
      Darwin Lamb
      Paul Stewart ... J.B. Parker (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Richard Brooks (written by)

      Original Music
      Alex North

      Harry Stradling Jr. (director of photography)

      Charles Bronson turned down the leading role.

      In Jan. 1976, Columbia distributed this film theatrically on a double bill with White Line Fever starring Jan-Michael Vincent.

      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.

      While on location in New Mexico in 1974 Paul Stewart suffered a heart attack.

      Power lines and a modern sodium vapor street light are visible at the train station.

      Rosie casually drops the term "Mickey Finn" to refer to a near-toxic combination of whiskey and sleeping medicine. According to the Wikipedia page for this term, Mr. Finn did indeed commit his drug-and-rob crimes about three years prior to the action in this film but also indicates that while the crime was mentioned in Chicago newspapers the term itself wasn't in popular usage as a stand-alone noun until several years later.

      Crew or equipment visible
      The track tracks left by the filming are visible in the desert.

      Revealing mistakes
      When the horse is being buried in the desert its side is moving with breathing.

      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.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Carson National Forest, New Mexico, USA
      Chama, New Mexico, USA
      Colorado, USA
      Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, Chama, New Mexico, USA
      Lake Mead, Nevada, USA
      Taos, New Mexico, USA
      Valley of Fire State Park - Route 169, Overton, Nevada, USA
      White Sands National Monument, Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA

      Watch this Trailer
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Bite the Bullet (1975)

      Bite the Bullet is a 1975 American Western film written and directed by Richard Brooks
      and starring Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Candice Bergen,
      Ben Johnson, Ian Bannen, Jan-Michael Vincent and Dabney Coleman.

      User Review
      One of the Great '70s Westerns
      - Re: SlowMo and Animal Cruelty
      23 March 2002 | by 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.
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Bite the Bullet (1975)

      I have a third picture from Bite the Bullet in my collection but I haven't scanned it yet. :)

      The Twilight Time Blu-ray of this title is superb.

    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Bite the Bullet (1975)

      Despite the fact that this whole movie is about a horse race, it takes it's time unfolding. There are several excellent scenes and Ben Johnson and James Coburn have the best roles. Alex North's music is also a standout.
      Haven't replaced the DVD yet, but since Paula says it's worth it, guess I will.

      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: (New Review) Classic Movie Westerns- Bite the Bullet (1975)

      Hey Gorch! That first picture you posted is the one I have that I haven't scanned in yet. But I've never seen that second one at the bar so THANK YOU so much for posting it! I am going to nab it for my Ben Johnson page. :)