7.9/10
12,536
101 user 42 critic

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Fields ...
Severn Darden ...
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Shirl
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Jacquelyn Hyde ...
Felice Orlandi ...
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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 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1970 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

El baile interminable  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (current)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The film is supposed to take place in 1932. However, during the opening sequence posters for the films Varsity Show (1937) and Off the Record (1939) can be seen outside the ballroom on the pier. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Rocky: Here they are again, folks! These wonderful, wonderful kids! Still struggling! Still hoping! As the clock of fate ticks away, the dance of destiny continues! The marathon goes on, and on, and on! HOW LONG CAN THEY LAST?
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Connections

Featured in Biography: Al Lewis: Forever Grandpa (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Yours
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Johnny Green
Played at the Dance Marathon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"I've got my eye on you!" ... "Which one?"
6 July 2002 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

This is the movie that "The Day of the Locust" might have aspired to be. It captures the tone of desperation and helplessness of Depression-era characters (would-bes, wanna-bes, and fade-outs) like few films I've seen. It's a fascinating downer, ripe with interesting losers and gritty drama. Jane Fonda's performance as a marathon-entry at the end of her rope ranks with her very best work, and Oscar-winner Gig Young is smashing as the M.C. Also superb: Susannah York as a glamor girl who gets her clothes (and sanity) dirty, and Red Buttons as an over-the-hill sailor. There's not a happy or hopeful moment in sight, but for gripping human drama you could do no better. James Poe and Robert E. Thompson adapted their screenplay from Horace McCoy's novel; Sydney Pollack directed, impeccably. ***1/2 from ****


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