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Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO Reviewed on 12/16/2015...
Really fun movie with a super talented cast including Gene Hackman, Candice Bergen, James Coburn, Ben Johnson, and Jan Michael Vincent. They totally make this movie work! Turn of the century (1900) is the time period and it is very interesting including mention of "Teddy" Roosevelt and others of that era. I can totally imagine my great grand parents living in the time period and how wild the west was then. Fun, fun, fun!!
Hazel S. from CARRIERE, MS Reviewed on 10/26/2010...
This is so funny! We really liked it!
R. Whitney | 01/21/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The "Format" information in the "Product Details" section for "Bite the Bullet" says that a widescreen presentation is included on the DVD. However, the back of the DVD cover insert only indicates a "Full Screen" (i.e. "Pan & Scan") presentation."
A Race Of Personal Best
MF Regan | Ontario, Canada | 11/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
I watched this film the other night- I hadn't seen it since I was a teenager. I loved it.
It's a western that's much more than that. While it's premise is about a horse race- it's really about life's race; about games that seem bought and paid for, age vs youth, friendships and whether we let things come between them, and about why people run the race and how one man's reaction to it can influence others to change the dynamic(in a good way).
Hackman and Coburn make a good combination in this as former Rough Riders. Jan Michael Vincent had a role where he really had to shine and I think he gave the performance of his career, here. Ben Johnson breaks your heart in what is one of the most real roles he has ever offered (and probably a real testament to how the real cowboy lived). Candice Bergman is terrific, too.
This story handles a full range of issues (racial, sexual and animal rights) in a fair and real sense. Some have remarked about some of the cruelty depicted here, and the point Richard Brooks was making (I think) is, there are some real swine in this world. They view anything- be it animal or their fellow human beings, merely as a means to an end. They're either too stupid or too insensitive to know how dark they are. It's also an example of how we set examples for one another. If you allow stupid to do as stupid does- stupid will!
I won't spoil the ending- let's just say that it makes a point about what's really important, in a very effective, emotion filled way. I think you leave this film not only satisfied- but feeling uplifted.
My personal favorite of Richard Brooks and time extrememly well spent."
An excellent alternative to the typical western fare
Robert W. Gailey | Waipio, Oahu, Hawaii | 12/03/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If nothing else, this movie has a great cast and a very interesting storyline. It begins in the first few years of the 20th century somewhere in the West. A 700 mile race is promoted by a newspaper that sets rider and horse against each other and the elements. It also pits the wealthy and their resources against those of more modest means with obvious results. However, I feel the strengh of "Bite the Bullet" is not so much a story of classes as it is the characters themselves. With a plethora of well-known character actors, the movie takes the time to develop each of these characters in a manner that makes "Bite the Bullet" an enjoyable and very watchable movie. Obviously, as a person who loves the wide-screen version of any movie, I cannot wait for "Bite the Bullet" to come out in DVD and widescreen format. However, until that time, I feel that once you see the cast involved in "Bite the Bullet" you will enjoy watching this wonderful and underrated version an era coming to an end."
Bite The Bullet
Sandra Lamar Dargie | Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA United States | 01/05/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bite the Bullet assembles some of the best talent in Hollywood. Gene Hackman, James Coburn and Ben Johnson are each at their finest. And who knew Candice Bergen could sit a horse so well? This grueling endurance race, based very loosely on a true story, pits Thoroughbred against Mustang, Arabian against Quarter Horse. The riders are no less a mixed bag than their mounts. The savage terrain takes its toll on man and beast, creating enemies and reluctant allies. The brutality depicted in this race was not unknown at that time and one hopes that the Special Effects Department was responsible for bringing it to the screen. Making that optimistic assumption, I recommend the movie to action lovers and those who study human nature. And I smile, knowing that my grandfather would have called it a "humdinger" of a tale!"
A horse ride through hell
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 02/08/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In the 1970s when westerns were typically cynical, dark and violent, Bite the Bullet went for a more traditional movie, and it works because when it comes right down to it, it's a good story. In the early 1900s, saddle tramp Sam Clayton is out of work after delivering a horse to the start point of a 700-mile horse race. At first, Clayton wants none of the race, but comes around and ends up joining the competition. One of nine riders, Clayton sets off through hellish terrain with little water. Can the riders tread that fine line between pushing both themselves and their mounts too far, and who will win? Not much action here, but I never found myself bored. Great location shooting, a good score by Alex North, and a strong ensemble cast make this 70s western an enjoyable one.
At the height of his popularity, Gene Hackman leads the ensemble cast as Sam Clayton, the cowboy looking for work who joins the 700-mile race. Clayton wants to win, but not at a cost of his own beliefs and morals. If someone's in trouble, he'll help. Candice Bergen stars as Miss Jones, a former prostitute who joins the race to earn some much-needed money, but there may be more going on than she tells. James Coburn plays Luke Matthews, Clayton's old friend who has bet every cent he has on the most reliable rider...himself. Hackman's scenes with Coburn make their past friendship more realistic and believable, you like both characters. Ben Johnson is great in a small part as Mister, an ex-Pony Express rider who's tried everything in life but believes he won't be remembered, winning the race on the other hand would immortalize him. Some of the other riders include Ian Bannen as Sir Harry Norfolk, a British sportsmen who loves competition, Jean-Michael Vincent as Carbo, a youngster trying to prove himself, Mario Arteaga as the Mexican, and Robert Hoy as Christie, the early favorite.
The DVD seems like it was just thrown together. No special features, not even a trailer, and a fullscreen presentation of a movie that would look great in widescreen. Even more frustrating, the credits are in widescreen, but the movie goes to pan-n-scan immediately after. Too bad, but the movie's a good one, an old fashioned western with a great cast, check out Bite the Bullet!"