Bite the Bullet
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An excellent cast, featuring Gene Hackman, Ben Johnson, and James Coburn, highlights this entertaining Western that came and went at the box office, barely noticed by audiences. That doesn't stop the exciting story from capturing the viewer's attention as a disparate group of riders assembles to participate in a marathon 700-mile horse race across the American West at the turn of the century. The standard mutual feelings of distrust give way to respect and grudging admiration as each rider is put to the test. Stunning cinematography and locations, plus a gripping pace set by director… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"An excellent, literate action drama probing the diverse motivations of participants in an endurance horse race."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A finely crafted, epic Western about a cross-country horseback endurance race."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"I wish I had a bullet to chew down on to kill the pain this pic gave me."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Bite the Bullet may be many things, but boring it's not."
‑ Patrick Byrne, Apollo Guide
"Any random thought ever committed to paper about the intrinsic 'messages' of the Western genre here turns up as a line of speechifying dialogue: the result is a folly stultified by its own seriousness."
‑ , Time Out
"Unusual, big budget western concerning horse race to deathly finish."
‑ Steve Crum,
"Offers a fresh twist on winning out and gives us pause to think about our way of being in the world"
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"In spite of all the care, the money and the hardships that apparently went into its production, the movie looks prefabricated, like something assembled from other people's earlier, better inspirations."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Spendid period piece about an endurance horse race."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The result is that the film's message about sportsmanship decency becomes thoroughly anodyne. Entertaining nevertheless."
‑ , Film4
More reviews for Bite the Bullet on Rotten Tomatoes