They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

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Released 1969

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They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Movie Summary

Director:
Sydney Pollack
Released:
1969
Rating:
PG
They Shoot Horses, Don't They? recreates the dark realities of Depression-era dance marathons. Director Sydney Pollack ("Out of Africa") captures the desperation and the grueling conditions of the dance-till-you-drop phenomenon, which paid a large cash prize for the winner. The dance marathon contestants vary from a suicidal young woman, Gloria (two-time Academy Award winner Jane Fonda), to Robert (Michael Sarrazin, "Westworld"), an idealistic director, and aspiring actress and a young couple expecting their first child. Gig Young won an Oscar for his performance as the unscrupulous emcee. At first, everyone in the ballroom dream of winning the prize, and finally getting the big break to their future. As the hours and the dances tick by, the exhausted participants fade, collapse, and break down, and the ugliness of a sad, troubled time emerged. This 1969 drama features a dark, thought-provoking script and an amazing supporting cast including Bruce Dern (Oscar Winner for "Coming Home"), Red Buttons ("The Poseidon Adventure") and Susannah York ("Tom Jones").moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 88

    RogerEbert.com Roger Ebert

    The movie's delicately timed pacing and Pollack's visual style work almost stealthily to involve us; we begin to feel the physical weariness and spiritual desperation of the charac...

  • 78

    Austin Chronicle Marjorie Baumgarten

    Bleak but exquisitely fashioned microcosm of American life during the Depression.

  • 40

    Time Out

    The acting is strident and overblown, the narrative technique gimmicky and obvious, and the implication that the competitors' situation is a microcosm of a wider-reaching American ...

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More Info About This Movie

Categories

Drama

Themes

Psychological, Classics, Historical