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They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
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They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) More at IMDbPro »

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They Shoot Horses, Don't They? -- The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.


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7.9/10   13,326 votes »
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Down 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Horace McCoy (novel)
James Poe (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for They Shoot Horses, Don't They? on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1970 (Norway) See more »
People are the ultimate spectacle
The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 12 wins & 21 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Grand Prize: Surviving The Depression!!!! See more (104 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jane Fonda ... Gloria

Michael Sarrazin ... Robert

Susannah York ... Alice

Gig Young ... Rocky

Red Buttons ... Sailor

Bonnie Bedelia ... Ruby

Michael Conrad ... Rollo

Bruce Dern ... James

Al Lewis ... Turkey
Robert Fields ... Joel

Severn Darden ... Cecil

Allyn Ann McLerie ... Shirl

Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Laydon
Jacquelyn Hyde ... Jackie
Felice Orlandi ... Mario

Art Metrano ... Max (as Arthur Metrano)
Gail Billings ... Lillian
Lynn Willis ... Coley James, pianist/singer
Maxine Greene ... Agnes
Mary Gregory ... Nurse

Robert Dunlap ... College Boy

Paul Mantee ... Jiggs

Tim Herbert ... Doctor
Tom McFadden ... Second Trainer

Noble 'Kid' Chissell ... First Trainer
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Ian Abercrombie ... Male Dancer #74 (uncredited)

Guy Apollo ... Time Study Man (uncredited)
Hugh Bell ... Band Member (uncredited)
Ronnie Bright ... Band Member (uncredited)
Robert Buckingham ... Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Teddy Buckner ... Band Member (uncredited)
Hadley Caliman ... Band Member (uncredited)
Teddy Edwards ... Band Member (uncredited)
Thurman Green ... Band Member (uncredited)
Joe Harris ... Band Member (uncredited)

Marilyn Hassett ... Dancer #75 (uncredited)
Bobby Hutcherson ... Band Leader (uncredited)
Ike Isaacs ... Band Member (uncredited)

Michael Jeffers ... Marathon Worker (uncredited)

Kenner G. Kemp ... Dance Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Peggy Adams Laird ... Dancer (uncredited)
Richard LaMarr ... Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Harold Land ... Band Member (uncredited)

Philo McCullough ... Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Beverlee McKinsey ... Dancer (uncredited)

Cynthia Myers ... Marathon Dancer (uncredited)
Flower Parry ... Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Les Robertson ... Band Member (uncredited)
Mabel Smaney ... Marathon Spectator (uncredited)
Sheela Tessler ... Marathon Dancer (uncredited)

Directed by
Sydney Pollack 
Writing credits
Horace McCoy (novel "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?")

James Poe (screenplay) and
Robert E. Thompson (screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Chartoff .... producer
Johnny Green .... associate producer (as John Green)
Theodore B. Sills .... executive producer
Irwin Winkler .... producer
Original Music by
Johnny Green  (as John Green)
Cinematography by
Philip H. Lathrop (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Fredric Steinkamp 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
James Martell (uncredited)
Jack Roberts (uncredited)
Production Design by
Harry Horner 
Set Decoration by
Frank R. McKelvy  (as Frank McKelvey)
Costume Design by
Donfeld (costumes designed by)
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist: Miss Fonda (as Sidney Guilaroff)
Frank McCoy .... makeup artist
Ina Claire .... hair stylist: Miss York (uncredited)
Shirley Gilbert .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Carla Hadley .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Maggie O'Connor .... body makeup artist (uncredited)
Lenore Weaver .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Sherry Wilson .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Production Management
Edward Woehler .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Al Jennings .... assistant director
Joel Chernoff .... second unit director (uncredited)
C.E. Dismukes .... assistant director (uncredited)
Lynn Guthrie .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Ben L. Goldman .... property master
Mort Rabinowitz .... production illustrator
Danny Beneducci .... props (uncredited)
Frank L. Brown .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Norval D. Crutcher .... sound effects editor (as Norval Crutcher)
Tom Overton .... sound
Ora Hudson .... boom operator (uncredited)
Brandon Kellogg .... recordist (uncredited)
Tex Rudloff .... re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Blondie Anderson .... special effects (uncredited)
Chad Evans .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Duke Callaghan .... camera operator (as Duke Callahan)
William Classen .... grip (uncredited)
Richard Doran .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Cliff King .... first assistant camera (uncredited)
Douglas Kirkland .... still photographer (uncredited)
Craig Novak .... grip (uncredited)
Art Say .... stills (uncredited)
Barry Wexler .... grip (uncredited)
Robert Willoughby .... special still photographer (uncredited)
Lee Wilson .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael J. Harte .... costumer: man (as Mike Harte)
Mina Mittelman .... costumer: woman (as Mina Mittleman)
Vou Lee Giokaris .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Violet B. Martin .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Thalia Phillips .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Bob Scott .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joe Somaruga .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ronald Wind .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Don Guidice .... assistant film editor
Music Department
Johnny Green .... orchestral arrangements (as John Green)
Harry King .... music editor
Albert Woodbury .... orchestral arrangements
Dan Wallin .... score mixer (uncredited)
Other crew
Herbert DuFine .... dialogue coach (as Herb Dufine)
Mort Heilig .... production executive (as Morty Heilig)
Phill Norman .... titles
Tom Panko .... marathon dancers supervisor
Emily Torchia .... unit publicist
Joyce Webb .... script supervisor
Noble 'Kid' Chissell .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El baile interminable" - Argentina, Venezuela
"Σκοτώνουν τ' Αλογα Οταν Γεράσουν" - Greece
"Загнанных лошадей пристреливают, не правда ли?" - Soviet Union (Russian title)
"Уморените коне ги убиват, нали?" - Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)
"A Noite dos Desesperados" - Brazil
"A lovakat lelövik, ugye?" - Hungary
"Ammutaanhan hevosiakin" - Finland
"Atlari da vururlar" - Turkey (Turkish title) (TV title)
"Baile de ilusiones" - Mexico (imdb display title)
"Czyz nie dobija sie koni?" - Poland
"Danzad, danzad, malditos" - Spain
"De skyter jo hester, ikke sant?" - Norway (imdb display title)
"Hem Yorim Gum B'Susim" - Israel (Hebrew title)
"Hitori botchi no seishun" - Japan (imdb display title)
"I konje ubijaju, zar ne?" - Serbia
"Jamen, man skyder da heste?" - Denmark
"Kone se také strílejí" - Czechoslovakia
"Maratondansen" - Sweden (video title)
"Men slacht wel paarden af" - Belgium (Flemish title) (imdb display title)
"När man skjuter hästar så..." - Sweden (imdb display title)
"Non si uccidono così anche i cavalli?" - Italy
"Nur Pferden gibt man den Gnadenschuß" - West Germany
"Nur Pferden gibt man einen Gnadenschuß" - East Germany (imdb display title)
"On achève bien les chevaux" - France
"Os cavalos Também Se Abatem" - Portugal
"Si caii se împusca, nu-i asa?" - Romania (imdb display title)
"Skotonoun t' aloga otan gerasoun" - Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)
"Son gerçek" - Turkey (Turkish title)
"Tudi konje streljajo, mar ne?" - Slovenia (imdb display title)
See more »
129 min (original version) | USA:120 min (current version)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:SOA (original rating) | Australia:M (re-rating) (1984) | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:R (Nova Scotia) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Denmark:15 | Finland:K-16 | France:Tous publics | Iceland:12 | Italy:T | Netherlands:18 (1970) | New Zealand:M | Norway:16 | Singapore:PG | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:AA (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (1992) (1996) (2001) | USA:M/PG (certificate #22402) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The Rolling Stones used the film's set as a rehearsal space prior to a pair of shows at The Forum as part of their 1969 U.S. tour.See more »
Crew or equipment visible: Shadow of camera and operator on Derby contestants.See more »
Rocky:I have a little notion, kids. Something that could help the show. Something that could benefit all of us and, in particular, could benefit the two of you. And at the same time give the folks out there something to get worked up about.
Gloria Beatty:What are you gonna do? Put us in cages and have them throw peanuts at us?
Rocky:No, all kidding aside...
Gloria Beatty:Who's kidding?
See more »
I'm YoursSee more »


Location of shoot
See more »
10 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
The Grand Prize: Surviving The Depression!!!!, 13 October 2007
Author: dataconflossmoor from United States

As I first noticed the credits to this movie, it came to my attention that Sydney Pollack was the director of this film... This should come as no surprise to me, Sydney Pollack is one of the greatest directors in Hollywood!! He pinpoints reality to an unprecedented succinctness level!! Reality is often times a subtle yet very rude formidability with indisputable facts that will decimate anyone or anything that gets in the way!!The movie "They Shoot Horses Don't They" depicts a cross section of individuals who masquerade a paper thin veneer of flippancy about them selves. These actions serve as a subterfuge for the fact that they have been mangled by the Depression!! Everybody is at the same place, a dance marathon.. By tittle, a dance marathon would seemingly suggest a sort of paraded panacea, in reality, it is a cinematic slaughterhouse!! Such an event cultivates a macabre audience whose voyeuristic amusement is based on witnessing human misery.. The tragic social pitfalls of financial collapse caused by the Great Depression are the culprits to spurring on these dance marathons, nevertheless, regardless of cause and effect, the show must go on!!

As the movie lingers on, it portrays the desperation and apocalyptic suffering all of the major characters endure... This needless agony is all in the hopes that they will win the grand prize.. The indigence everybody is victimized by sparks a pejorative identification that all involved parties are afflicted with!! All of them are mired in an abyss of despondence and gridlocked by the sorry element of individual demoralization!!

The acting in this movie is absolutely phenomenal!! Jane Fonda is superb at portraying the disgruntled spawn of economic hardship!! Her witty retorts and justified pathos resonate themselves to a point of insignificant consolation and comfort for her overall situation!! Gig Young is terrific as the dance marathon coordinator, he has become callous as a necessary defense mechanism for his basic survival!! Jane Fonda's dance partner, Michael Sarrazin, must expedite moral imperatives, his final dilemma makes him very peccant, this is accompanied by a gargantuan ethical conundrum!! That is all I can say without giving away the plot to this movie!! As I previously stated, Sydney Pollack does a remarkable job directing this film!! All of the dance marathon victims have become sullen and dejected!! The Depression has evoked a totally effective form of vilification to each and every one of them by making them realize the outcome of their end results!! Heroics would allow people to rise above adversity, even the Great Depression!! Reality, however, dictates that the vast majority of Americans did not fall through the cracks, nor, did they divide and conquer... the fact is, that anonymity and attrition relegated most working class Americans to tragic statistics!! The dreadful circumstances of the Depression cogently asserted that many lives were virtually categorized as utterly valueless!!

The talent and powerful story line make this film worth seeing!! Reality is a prevailing quality in a film, even if it is difficult to stomach, try to remember that and you will probably enjoy this film quite a bit!! Catastrophe has been calculated in this movie, to effectuate tragic poignancy to the letter of the law!! The law of the jungle that is!! If one of your favorite hobbies is ruminating the unfortunate truth, then, you will like this film very much!!!!!

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