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Bite the Bullet [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.35:1. AUDIO: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA. SUBTITLES: English SDH. LANGUAGE: English. 1975 / Color. 131 MINUTES. NOT RATED. REGION FREE. Limited Edition of 3,000 Units. Exclusive distribution for Twilight Time provided by Screen Archives Entertainment

Product Details

  • Actors: Candice Bergen, Ian Bannen, Dabney Coleman, Gene Hackman, James Coburn
  • Directors: Richard Brooks
  • Format: Color, Blu-ray
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Twilight Time
  • DVD Release Date: March 8, 2012
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007L690JS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,860 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
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.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As another customer has stated, this version does NOT include the widescreen format. I have asked Amazon to change their Web page showing the format but please be aware before you buy.
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By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This terrific movie depicts a long distance horse race in an old west on the cusp of change. Advancing industries and machinery (sequence with Coburn and Hackman bouncing around in a motorbike and side-car reflects this perfectly, and is a hoot!) would soon render many aspects of frontier life out-moded. This movie covers great distances both geographically and in terms of the characters. Gene Hackman is tremendous and sits astride the narrative with a knock-out performance. His hard-bitten sweat-drenched horseman with a barb-wire soul is given extra depth by the fact that he is also a fighter for animal rights -a novel notion in that age. Coburn is Coburn; basso-profundo voice, grinning with all 95 of his teeth, he does all that is asked of him. Feisty Candice Bergen displays grit and guts to match the dudes and more than holds her own in a film with leaves you spent and involved. The look and flavour of the movie are rooted firmly in the 70's - a golden age of cinema - and the direction and set pieces involve you from the get-go. The sand, sweat and blood onscreen is palpable. And the struggles, deceptions and rivalries will bring out the true grit in any viewer. Heartily recommended for all my fellow honchos out there riding the lonesome trail with dusty denims and prairie dreams.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I know because I own one. As a multitude of reviews here testify, 'Bite the Bullet' (4 stars) is a real gem of a western-adventure that got buried under a heap of equally well-made but more topical genre films released in 1975 ('Jaws,' 'Cuckoo's Nest,' 'Shampoo,' 'Nashville,' 'Dog Day Afternoon,' etc.). It is a fact, however, that Columbia released two versions of BTB on DVD: one a picture disc containing only the ugly pan/scan fullscreen transfer of the film and the other a flipper which features that and a nice 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. Problem is that information appears in small print on the back of the packaging (I believe the UPC codes are even the same), which you won't be able to confirm unless you have the thing in your hand. So you have to either 1) comb your local DVD outlets to see if you can luck into one, or 2) query the vendor before you purchase online. (You can also opt for the Blu-ray or pick up the 'Quick and the Dead/Bite the Bullet' double feature, which offers BTB in widescreen.)

Update: Since writing the above, I purchased BTB on Blu-ray and it looks spectacular.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
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!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I'm not a huge fan of westerns, although I've enjoyed some of them a great deal. I first saw "Bite the Bullet" at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO, in the summer of 1975. When I learned that the movie was available on disc, I wanted to see if I still liked it as much as I did then. The story is about a horse race taking place in 1906 across much of what was then very wild territory. The old West is slowly fading away, and modern developments are changing the way things are done. While automobiles existed in 1906, and a handful had by then even made the trip from one coast to the other (starting in 1903, with a Winton), none are to be found in this film. At that time, automobiles were mostly toys which belonged to the wealthy, and weren't yet used as day-to-day transportation by the masses, especially in the remote West. The only internal combustion device in the film is a motorcycle, piloted by a reporter who is covering the race. It's painted to resemble an early Harley-Davidson, but is in fact a Montesa of the early 1970's, with modifications of make it look like an antique. The story revolves around the different characters entered in the race, their reasons for wanting to win, and how they relate to one another (not always smoothly). After watching the film for only the second time, I found that it has held up well, and I still enjoyed it.
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