Bite the Bullet is an excellent, literate action drama probing the diverse motivations of participants in an endurance horse race. The contestants include Gene Hackman and James Coburn as ex-San Juan Hill Rough Riders; Candice Bergen as a former resident of Jean Willes frontier pleasure shanty, seeking money to help her imprisoned lover; vagabond Ben Johnson desperately wanting to 'be somebody' for a brief moment in life.

Bite the Bullet is an excellent, literate action drama probing the diverse motivations of participants in an endurance horse race. The contestants include Gene Hackman and James Coburn as ex-San Juan Hill Rough Riders; Candice Bergen as a former resident of Jean Willes frontier pleasure shanty, seeking money to help her imprisoned lover; vagabond Ben Johnson desperately wanting to ‘be somebody’ for a brief moment in life.

After a leisurely though intriguing buildup, the race begins, and during the daily ordeals of mountain, desert, rain, sun, cold and heat, the pressures and the secrets of the characters emerge plausibly and rationally.

Bergen’s ulterior motivation in particular triggers a surprise, pre-climactic turn. Effective use of slow-motion in the final scene lends suspense to the outcome as the two surviving riders inch towards the ribbon.

1975: Nominations: Best Original Song Score, Sound

Bite the Bullet

Production

Columbia. Director Richard Brooks; Producer Richard Brooks; Screenplay Richard Brooks; Camera Harry Stradling Jr; Editor George Grenville; Music Alex North; Art Director Robert Boyle

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1975. Running time: 131 MIN.

With

Gene Hackman Candice Bergen James Coburn Ben Johnson Ian Bannen Jan-Michael Vincent
Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters!
Post A Comment 0