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Bite the Bullet
(1975)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:
Alex North

Orchestrated by:
Hershy Kay

Produced by:
Ford A. Thaxton
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Prometheus Records
(December, 1999)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Limited and numbered release of 2,500 copies, available only through soundtrack specialty outlets.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate the distinct style of the few Western scores in Alex North's career and, like others nostalgic for a dying genre in the 1970's, seek a relatively safe throwback effort.

Avoid it... if you expect to hear North's more unconventional style of instrumentation and rhythm rather than his romantic leanings for a conservative character score.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,356
WRITTEN 12/10/99, REVISED 6/14/08
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Filmtracks has no record of commercial ordering options for this title. However, you can search for this title at online soundtrack specialty outlets.
North
North
Bite the Bullet: (Alex North) Acclaimed Western director Richard Brooks wasn't particularly concerned about the slow demise of the genre in the 1970's. Even by the time of 1975's Bite the Bullet, Brooks was still intent on writing and directing traditional Westerns that examined what it was to be an American. The story of Bite the Bullet addressed the end of the true wild West, conveying a plot that largely symbolized urban America's incorporation of the region into its fold during the early 1900's. A variety of characters participate in a 700-mile race (inspired by a real event) through Wyoming and Colorado for a cash prize, and those individuals are just as much a hindrance to each other as the difficult landscape. The film was met with mixed reactions, with fans of old-style, message-based Westerns embracing the picture while the younger generation wanted something with a sharper edge. Still, with a cast led by Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen, Bite the Bullet earned two Academy Award nominations and maintains a certain amount of respect when looking back at its defiance of the Western's general demise. Composer Alex North was in command of his career by the 1970's, a regular nominee for Oscars and established as an artist with a distinct and influential compositional style. North did not compose many Westerns in his career (many continue to consider his best venture here to be Viva Zapata), but Bite the Bullet nevertheless serves to round out a career and genre of film that were both fading from the spotlight at the time. Although North would continue on to complete a few more average accomplishments in the 1980's, Bite the Bullet is among the scores that his devoted fans consider to be his final, great Hollywood achievements. It is not surprising that North's music for the occasion clings to traditional Western elements while also embracing some of the more unconventional methods of scoring he was helping to popularize by the early 1970's.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
394 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.98 Stars
***** 70 5 Stars
**** 75 4 Stars
*** 98 3 Stars
** 81 2 Stars
* 70 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at Movie Wave
Southall - July 27, 2014, at 10:59 a.m.
1 comment  (349 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 62:42
• 1. Overture (2:43)
• 2. The Foal (2:26)
• 3. The Race (1:51)
• 4. Badlands (4:39)
• 5. Miss Jones (2:03)
• 6. Desert Ride (2:17)
• 7. Night Pause (3:05)
• 8. Old Timer's Horse (1:32)
• 9. Fun Drive (2:05)
• 10. Respite (2:10)
• 11. Carbo & Luke (2:40)
• 12. Sand Dunes (3:44)
• 13. Bite the Bullet (2:17)
• 14. Final Lap (2:42)
• 15. The Winner (2:48)
• 16. Clay and the Mexican (2:04)
• 17. Prisoners (2:44)
• 18. End Title (1:23)
Mexican Source Music:
• 19. Ole-Ole (1:25)
• 20. River Medley (2:44)
• 21. Mexican Dance #1 (1:22)
• 22. The Tooth (1:23)
• 23. Xalxoco Xochitl (1:13)

March Suite:
• 24. Stars & Stripes (1:54)
• 27. National Emblem March (2:12)
• 26. Drums and Bugles (1:34)
• 27. The Caissons Go Rolling Along (1:11)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert contains lengthy notes (by Jack Smith, who is obviously a huge fan of Alex North) about both the movie and score.
Copyright © 1999-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Bite the Bullet are Copyright © 1999, Prometheus Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/10/99 and last updated 6/14/08.
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