MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 664 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 10,818 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 23 titles
created 05 Feb 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 30 titles
created 1 week 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... 

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
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
    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
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
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
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
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

While the leader is in jail, his leftist group is controlled by his girlfriend, but her leadership lacks conviction and perspective. When the leader commits suicide in prison, despair and ... See full summary »

Director: Kazuyoshi Kumakiri
Stars: Shigeru Bokuda, Sumiko Mikami, Shunsuke Sawada
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
Havana I (1990)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Lena Olin, Alan Arkin
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
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

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

Quotes

Rocky: The doctor's decision is: Lillian Kramer stays on in the marathon! The doctor's assured me Lillian just has a slight sinus headache.
Gloria Beatty: Headache. For all that quack knows she's... she's got a brain tumor.
Robert: No, I don't think so. Only I'm not exactly sure, but I think it's different with a brain tumor. Different symptoms.
Gloria Beatty: Yeah? How do you know?
Robert: I saw it in a movie. Anita Louise and Richard Cromwell. That's what she died of. Anita Louise. A brain tumor. But it was different. Everything just suddenly ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Matters: They Shoot Ducks, Don't They? (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Pop Goes the Weasel
(1853) (uncredited)
Music anonymous
Arranged by Charles Twiggs (1859)
Played at the Dance Marathon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A Grisly, Sickly Entertaining Film
20 February 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A brutally bleak screen adaptation of the pulpy Horace McCoy novella, about a Depression-era dance marathon where down-and-outers drive themselves to the brink of exhaustion to win the cash prize.

This film has become relevant again today in the age of reality T.V., where people tune in to watch strangers be humiliated, rejected and made fun of. Meanness and suffering sells today, and apparently it sold back then as well. The M.C. of the dance marathon, played wonderfully by Gig Young in one of his last (if not the last) film performances before the troubled actor murdered his wife and then killed himself, creates little narratives and dramas around each of the dancers, so that the audience can have their favorites to root for. Every once in a while, someone will show off a special talent, singing a song or hoofing a little dance number, and the audience will throw change at them, which the performer then frantically scrabbles up like a desperate pigeon. The cast of dancers is led by Jane Fonda, in a break-out role as Gloria, the jaded woman-of-the-world who's seen it all and doesn't want to see anymore; Susannah York, as a pretentious wannabe actress, who acts up a storm during a mesmerizing breakdown scene; Red Buttons, as an aging ex-serviceman who struggles to keep up with the young kids around him; and Bruce Dern and Bonnie Bedelia, as a sweet couple of country bumpkins who are desperate to win the cash for their unborn baby. And yes, that is Al Lewis (aka Grandpa Munster) lurking around in the background as one of the dance marathon officials.

Director Sydney Pollack vastly improves on the source material, making something much richer and deeper out of McCoy's lurid novella. He uses an edgy, jarring style that's suited perfectly to the material, and which he would never again display.

"They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" holds a sort of grisly fascination over its audience. Bleak as it is, it's also entertaining in a rather morbid way, making us feel like we're members of the audience watching this sick spectacle and making it that much harder for us to condemn the film audience without labeling ourselves as hypocrites.

Grade: A


51 of 57 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:
?