Bite the Bullet (1975)

“I’ve been around a lot of cowhands, one way or another. A cowboy dresses from the top down. The first thing on is his hat. And he undresses from the bottom up. Last thing off… hat. Oh, and another thing – to be a cowpuncher, that don’t mean you actually got to go around punching them, you know.” – Miss Jones

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jan 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A make-shift group of riders vie for the prize of winning a long distance horse race in the Old West

My Take on it – This is a film that I knew absolutely nothing about before watching and was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable it was.

The premise is quite fun and manages to work largely due to the way that they develop these characters along the way.

Loved the way that this story doesn’t try to paint any of the characters as heroes or villains and allows us to see their true nature as the story begins to unfold.

The various connections between the characters becomes more apparent as things move along.

The film sports a very talented and great cast.

Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Jan-Michael Vincent, Candice Bergen, Ian Bannen and Ben Johnson all help keep things so enterating and intriguing along the way especially given the fact that that each help create some very distinct characters.

There is no question in my mind about the connections that film has with and were possible inspirations for movies like The Cannonball Run (1981) and other race films in the genre.

The biggest problem with that association is that I was half expecting most of the characters to begin playing pranks on one another.

This movie does a great job of explaining the personal stories of each of these characters as things progress which helps make the viewer care much more about what transpires along the way.

This adds so much to the enjoyment of things as we see how things play out.

Bottom Line – Fun idea that works quite well due to the way that the characters are developed. The story doesn’t paint any of the characters as heroes or villains and as things move along, we get a clearer idea of who these contestants really on and how they are each connected to one another. The cast is great with Hackman, Coburn, Vincent, Bergen, Bannen and Johnson all giving stellar and distinct performances. It’s quite easy to see how this film was an inspiration for films like The Cannonball Run (1981) and I half expected for the characters to do humorous antics along the way.  The stories of each of these characters is explained quite well and it helps make things feel even more enjoyable to watch unfold.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – 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. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)


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3 thoughts on “Bite the Bullet (1975)

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