Bite the Bullet

Synopsis: At the beginning of the 20th century, a newspaper organizes an endurance horse race: 700 miles to run in a few days. 9 adventurers are competing, among them a woman, Miss Jones, a Mexican, an Englishman, a young cowboy, an old one and two friends, Sam Clayton and Luke Matthews. All those individualists will learn to respect each other.
Director(s): Richard Brooks
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

Heard your paper

was running an honest race.

You heard right, Mr. Gebhardt.

Well, who in hell handicapped

this owlhead as a favourite?

- The smart money.

- That's what we come to get.

She's all finished, boy.

Yeah, she's all finished.

Must be the dude from London.

How's he going to win a 700-mile race,

sitting on a postage stamp?

He won't win.

Wonderful journey, wonderful.

Miss Jones?

Reporter for the Western Press.

- You the one said I wouldn't show up?

- I'm pleased to be wrong.

In that case, pleased to meet you.

Don't you never touch me. Never.


How much?

Civil War? South?

These days, medals from losers

is worth nothing. No offence, mister.

$300's a bet.


$250? Call.

Two pair.

You drew to an inside straight?


- I think it's rather sporting.

- I hope your horse doesn't run as lucky.

My horse is the luckiest horse in the West,

but he never plays cards for money.

We've had more than sixty letters to the

editor asking why is a woman in the race.

- Written by men?

- Mostly women.

They figure

you must have a special reason.

Two thousand reasons.

How about you, Mr. Carbo?

Can your horse

stand up against thoroughbreds?

My bronc only has to be

half as good as them hotbloods...

...'cause I'm twice as good

as these oldbloods.

I've never been committed to defeat

quite so tactfully.

This race will be won by a horse.

Not a mouth.

Won by a bronco.

No thoroughbred has the speed,

wind or bottom of a mustang.

Not for 700 miles,

and that includes your Arabian.

$5,000. My horse against the field.

- Even money?

- How about you?

- $3,000.

- I'll cover the rest.

There's plenty more, if you're game.

One game at a time, Mr. Parker.

Where is this great horse of his, anyway?

Coming aboard next stop.

- Good to have you with us. Mr. Parker.

- Thank you.

- Where the hell is my horse? Seen her?

- Was she here?

- She's supposed to be.

- Was I supposed to see her?

You can't miss her.

She's got "champion" written all over her.

I see. That explains everything.

I don't read.

Hold your damn horses!

We're running late.

You're not leaving without my horse.

- You know the rules, Mr. Parker.

- The hell with your rules.


Can you spare some milk

for a hungry orphan?

He don't know anything

but his mom's teat.

You like horses?

You got one of your own?

You want one?

You got one, then.

- Don't I got to pay something?

- Yeah.

Don't ever treat him bad.

You're in the big time.

I'm in the shithouse.

- Out.

- For what?

- Hustling.

- That's a crime? They're all hustlers.

They work for me. You don't.

That makes it a crime.

Ride him, cowboy! Ride him!

Whiskey for me, and beer for my horse.

Cowboy always tends to his horse first.

Telegraph Chicago.

You're covered, $15,000 at 7-to-5.

$12,000 in Kansas City, even money.

- Call off all bets.

- Can't be done, baby. It's play or pay.

- Get through to my son.

- On his way. He'll be here before dark.

- Your father left about an hour ago.

- What about Tripoli? He show yet?

- No, sir.

- He's stupid.

$40,000 bet on a missing horse,

in the hands of a fool.

- Two important regulations. Rule One...

- Win!

Rule One:
Each horse

must carry no less than 160 pounds...

...including rider, saddle and extras.

Rule Two:
You'll be issued a compass

and a map for every leg of the race.

On it, you'll find the safest route.

You don't have to take it.

You do have to make every checkpoint.

Miss one, you're disqualified.

Out of the race.

Any questions?

Jump-off time:
6:00 in the morning.

Hey, British.

Drink to the winner!

Thank you. I haven't really

won the race yet. However...

Damn fine shooting, sir.

- The best, right?

- Lf you say so.

What do you say, pop?

Never saw a man yet

could hold his liquor like a bottle.

Hey, you. What's your name,

what do you say?

You're pretty good calling a poker hand.

You care to call this hand?

You going to pass?

Nobody wants to play.

Tex, fetch a jackass.

- Anybody killed?

- Just the quart.

You done right.

A boy looking for a reputation

is the most dangerous thing alive.

It certainly wasn't worth dying for.

What is?

Even if you do it, what's it going to prove?

Proves I can do it. That's what it proves.

That your jackass?


Then it ain't your business!

Never heard of Sam Clayton?

Champion of dumb animals,

ladies in distress, lost kids and lost causes.

- How you been?

- Fine, till you come along.

- You want it sudden?

- Drag it out.

Palm Sunday.

Matthew 5:

Just like old times.

You start trouble, and I start bleeding.

- Get up, damn it!

- Palm Sunday's over.

Hurts, don't it?

Something personal?

My eyes ain't as good as his.

I might miss. You'd be dead, and I'd be

out of the race for abusing a dumb animal.

Bad for you, worse for me.

Okay, pop.

- You look like a man of property.

- When I shook you, my luck changed.

- Big things?

- New things.

- Easy living?

- Right.

- Who wants easy living?

- I do.

You. You're fired.

Your job was to get J.B.'s horse

on the train. That was your job.

You gave all the others

a 70-mile advantage.

He was handled real easy, Mr. Parker.

Perfect condition.

Then she'll win.

If she could have won before today,

she'll still win.

- Except for one thing: Me.

- And me.

Me, too.

- You'll need moving money.

- Who said I'm moving?

Staying takes even more money.

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Richard Brooks

Richard Brooks (May 18, 1912 – March 11, 1992) was an American screenwriter, film director, novelist and film producer. Nominated for eight Oscars in his career, he was best known for Blackboard Jungle (1955), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elmer Gantry (1960; for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), In Cold Blood (1967) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977). more…

All Richard Brooks scripts | Richard Brooks Scripts

0 fans

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Bite the Bullet" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Bite the Bullet


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.