MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 423 this week

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M  -  Drama  -  13 August 1970 (Argentina)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,890 users  
Reviews: 94 user | 41 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 11 Apr 2011
 
a list of 29 titles
created 18 Jul 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 09 Apr 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 10 months ago
 
list image
a list of 44 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

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

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?.

User Polls

Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Klute (1971)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi
Castle Keep (1969)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Comedy | Western | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas
The Yakuza (1974)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter - and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia...

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Forced to trade his valuable furs for a well-educated escaped slave, a rugged trapper vows to recover the pelts from the Indians and later the renegades that killed them.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Shelley Winters, Telly Savalas
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

"Documentary Filmmaker looking for suicidal individual to follow from first preparation to final act." Cut from 142 video tapes, this project sheds light on the tragedy following the infamous Internet ad.

Director: Daniel Stamm
Stars: G.J. Echternkamp, Matthew Tilley, Valerie Hurt
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A woman wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she do it herself, and if not, is she in danger herself?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of an union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
Julia (1977)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

At the behest of an old and dear friend, playwright Lillian Hellman undertakes a dangerous mission to smuggle funds into Nazi Germany.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Jane Fonda, Vanessa Redgrave, Jason Robards
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A woman whose husband is fighting in Vietnam falls in love with another man who suffered a paralyzing combat injury there.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jon Voight, Bruce Dern
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Will Geer, Delle Bolton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Robert Fields ...
Severn Darden ...
...
Shirl
Madge Kennedy ...
Jacquelyn Hyde ...
Felice Orlandi ...
Edit

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 that he'll make it. Robert and Gloria meet and decide to enter a dance marathon, one of the crazes of the thirties. 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 | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

People are the ultimate spectacle

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 August 1970 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

El baile interminable  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (current)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Sydney Pollack shot some of the frightening derby sequences himself, donning a pair of roller skates to get right in the action with the frantically heel/toe-ing actors. See more »

Goofs

Robert tells Gloria about a film he saw starring Anita Louise and Richard Cromwell in which Anita Louise's character has a brain tumor. However, Louise and Cromwell only made two films together, The Most Precious Thing in Life and The Villain Still Pursued Her. The depression-era dance marathon, which is the subject of the film, presumably takes place in 1932. Earlier in the movie, we hear Mrs. Layton tell Robert and Gloria that they are her favorite couple because they are number 67, the same year that she was born (1867). Shortly thereafter, Gloria tells Robert that she's figured out Mrs. Layton is 65-years-old. Sixty-five years after 1867 is 1932, which is prior to either of the Louise/Cromwell films. 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?
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in They Shoot Divas, Don't They? (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Paradise
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Played at the Dance Marathon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A memorable, tragic story with roots in reality
21 November 2002 | by (Washington, DC) – See all my reviews

"They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" is such a fascinating film that it made worthwhile a little research into the dance marathon craze of the 1920s and early 1930s. According to the DVD extra, the set was modeled on the old Aragon Ballroom, built in the 1920s on the Lick Pier at Santa Monica, California. The once-elegant ballroom had grown seedy by the early 1950s, at which time it enjoyed a brief revival as the location of early Lawrence Welk show broadcasts. In the 1960s, the Aragon was again revamped under a different name as a short-lived rock concert venue - with appearances by Alice Cooper (is his pre-Cooper days) and Jim Morrison of the Doors. It was destroyed by fire shortly afterward.

Marathon dancing was, according to most historians, as brutal and exploitive as it is depicted in "Horses." It was for that reason that this early 20th century variety of Roman coliseum culture was banned in much of the country by the late 1930s.

This movie uses fictitious characters to tell a story that appears to be remarkably accurate from a historical point of view. Jane Fonda's ultra-cynical, sharp-tongued character, Gloria, along with ruthless manager/promoter Rocky (played by Gig Young), contrast perfectly with the eerily-resigned and unpretentious Robert (Michael Serrazin). The casting and dialogue are brilliant. The visual effects are haunting.

This film is not for everyone. But for those interested in the social pathology that allows human suffering to become a form of amusement, the malicious ill-treatment of the poor, or the harsh realities of the depression era, this is multifaceted cinema that can be watched again and again, each time yielding new subtleties. It is a morbidly fascinating character study that reflects a truly desperate time.

For those watching on DVD, it is advisable to see the short background feature before the movie in order to fully appreciate its context. The movie is unforgettable, a true classic.


86 of 102 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What are your top 10 most depressing movies? Vergilya
Winners paying expenses 2004RedSox
Has anyone ever wondered why? darlakarla
With all due respect to Klute.... momphone
Please explain Alice shower scene? edunn91
Susannah York (Alice)'s eyes during the shower scene MiPueblo
Discuss They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?