Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary
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Movie Poster of the Week: “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”

15 September 2017 6:53 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Desperate times call for desperate movies, and there are few movies that express genuine desperation better than Sydney Pollack’s 1969 dance-marathon melodrama They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Released for the first time on Blu-ray last week, Horses was a film that made a big impression on me as a teenager. Partly it was that ominous title (which I first heard when Welsh rock band Racing Cars had a 1977 top 20 hit with a song with the same name) and partly it was the indelible concept: in Depression-era America crowds paid to watch couples dance for days on end in the hope of winning a cash prize for the last man and woman standing (a concept fascinatingly re-worked in the 1997 documentary Hands on a Hard Body). Nominated for nine Oscars (it holds the record for the film with the most nominations without a Best Picture nod), They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? »

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