They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • In 1932, in the Great Depression, a group of hopeless people participates of a dance marathon contest on the Santa Monica Pier in California. Among them are the bitter and disillusioned Gloria; a sailor that fought in the war; the aspirant actress and actor Alice and Joel; the farmer James and his pregnant wife Ruby; all of them expecting to win the award of US$ 1,500.00. Gloria's partner has a threatening cough and is disqualified before the contest. However, the Master of Ceremony Rocky summons the stranger Robert (Michael Sarrazin) to replace her partner and dance with Gloria. Along more than forty days, the weakest couples are disqualified from the contest. When Rocky proposes that the exhausted Gloria and Robert get married during the dance marathon to raise money with the gifts, Rocky discloses that the winners will have their expenses deducted from the prize resting almost nothing from the US$ 1,500.00. Gloria leaves the contest with Robert and asks him for an ultimate solution for her suffering.

    - Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

    - Written by Kenneth Chisholm


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