7.9/10
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They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M/PG | | Drama | 1970 (Norway)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer
The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Horace McCoy (novel), James Poe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Robert Fields ... Joel
Severn Darden ... Cecil
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Shirl
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Laydon
Jacquelyn Hyde ... Jackie
Felice Orlandi ... Mario
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Storyline

Gloria is a young woman of the Depression. She has aged beyond her years and feels her life is hopeless, having been cheated and betrayed many times in her past. While recovering from a suicide attempt, she gets the idea from a movie magazine to head for Hollywood to make it as an actress. Robert is a desperate Hollywood citizen trying to become a director, never doubting he'll make it. Robert and Gloria meet and decide to enter a dance marathon, one of the crazes of the 1930's. The grueling dancing takes its toll on Gloria's already weakened spirit, and she tells Robert that she'd be better off dead, that her life is hopeless - all the while acting cruelly and bitterly, alienating those around her, trying to convince him to shoot her and put her out of her misery. After all, they shoot horses, don't they? Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

People are the ultimate spectacle

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

M/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1970 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (current)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes three Oscar winners: Jane Fonda, Gig Young and Red Buttons; and two Oscar nominees: Susannah York and Bruce Dern. See more »

Goofs

When Gloria's partner is rejected from participating in the marathon for being sick, she points to Ruby and snaps, "If she ain't pregnant, I'm Nelson Eddy." In 1932 Eddy was not yet a well-known figure in show business. See more »

Quotes

Rocky: You know somethin', Turkey? My old man never got out of the fourth grade. When it came to people, he didn't know his ass from his elbow. You know what he was? He was a faith healer. I used to travel the circuit with him. I was the one he healed. I was the shill to get the crowd set up. "Walk, my boy. When I lay my hand on you, you will walk." You will walk. Sodden old bastard. He thought it was him they believed in, but it was me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Comeback: Valerie Tries to Get Yesterday Back (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

I Cover the Waterfront
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Johnny Green
Played on piano by Lynn Willis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

YOWZA! YOWZA! YOWZA!
22 February 2001 | by Gunnery Sergeant HartmanSee all my reviews

This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Set in the 1930s, it revoleved around a group of people entering/running a depression dance marathon. The group entering the contest(The principle characters being Fonda, Sarrazin, York, Buttons, Bedilia, Fields)Can't pass up the seven meals a day, or the top prize of 1500 dollars, no matter how grueling the dance will be. Fonda, is a drifter looking for money, Sarrazin wanders into the contest by accident, York and Fields are an actor and actress hoping to be "Discovered", and Buttons is also looking for money. The management of the contest is represented by Young, Lewis, and (To a lesser extent)Conrad. While this is not a "Pick me up" movie, it is definitely worth seeing. The cast is excellent, and the movie moves along well. Director Sydney Pollack filmed the movie in sequence, which helps to show the fatigue that the characters are feeling. They Shoot horses was nominated for nine academy awards, inglinging Best actress(Fonda), Best Supporting Actress(York) and Best Director(Pollack).

However, only Gig Young walked away with the statuette(For best Supporting Actor) and he deserved every inch of it. Playing against typecasting, he knew he was getting the role of a lifetime and he gives one of the best performance of his career. I actually liked Rocky, with his White Tux and his "Yowza!Yowza!Yowza!" I don't know if I would have liked the character if Gig Young had not been in the role.

Overall, this movie is definitely worth seeing. If you have a chance, give it a look.

10/10 ***** out of *****


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