7.9/10
12,878
102 user 43 critic

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

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

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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 ...
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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/PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1970 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

El baile interminable  »

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Technical Specs

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(original) | (current)

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jane Fonda was the odds-on favorite to win the Best Actress Oscar for her performance in this film, so it came as a surprise when she lost to Maggie Smith for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969). It was speculated that Fonda's arrest on Fort Hood military reservation as well as rumors of drug use and adultery recently prior thereto had cost her the award. See more »

Goofs

The Edward Heyman/Johnny Green song "Easy Come Easy Go", which is used as the film's title theme and is performed by a singer at the fictional dance marathon, was not published until 1934 (two years after the film's 1932 setting). 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.
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Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Caisson Song (The Caissons Go Rolling Along)
(1907) (uncredited)
Music by Edmund L. Gruber
Played at the Dance Marathon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

YOWZA! YOWZA! YOWZA!

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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