7.9/10
15,291
107 user 54 critic

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

M/PG | | Drama | 1970 (Norway)
Trailer
3:04 | Trailer
The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Horace McCoy (novel), James Poe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 wins & 24 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Klute (1971)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Coming Home (1978)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A rodeo star past his prime steals his company's horse and rides into the desert, with a feisty reporter accompanying him.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
Marianne II (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: Marion Davies, Oscar Shaw, Fred Solm
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Casey and Babe are sisters who work in a department store and each year the store puts on a show. As expected, things are going wrong with every act until Casey comes out to help Babe with ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Rosetta Duncan, Vivian Duncan, Lawrence Gray
Certificate: Passed Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Mamie, an orphan girl who was abused in the orphanage, is taken in by Mrs. Caldwell, a kindly woman with a young son named Alexander. Mamie hits it off with the lad, and nicknames him "... See full summary »

Director: George W. Hill
Stars: Marion Davies, Holbrook Blinn, Harrison Ford
Margery and Gladys (TV Movie 2003)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Haughty, recently widowed Margery Heywood and her cleaner Gladys Gladwell go on the run after mistakenly believing that they have killed a teen-age burglar and, having held up a post office... See full summary »

Director: Geoffrey Sax
Stars: Penelope Keith, June Brown, Alan David
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Strung around the idea of reincarnation, this film goes back in time to the days of the Spanish galleons and pirates burying their treasure; treasure to be found centuries later.

Director: George D. Baker
Stars: Marion Davies, Norman Kerry, Anders Randolf
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Marion goes to college to pursue a handsome young man and discovers that he is coach of a women's basketball team.

Director: Sam Wood
Stars: Marion Davies, Johnny Mack Brown, Jane Winton
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Beverly of Graustark (1926) is a silent film directed by Sidney Franklin, starring Marion Davies, Antonio Moreno and Creighton Hale. The film's screenplay was written by Agnes Christine ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Marion Davies, Antonio Moreno, Creighton Hale
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In 1951, a group of high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both culturally and economically.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
Enchantment (1921)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The frothy experiences of a vain little flapper. Her father induces an actor friend to become a gentlemanly cave man and the film becomes another variation of the 'Taming of the Shrew' ... See full summary »

Director: Robert G. Vignola
Stars: Marion Davies, Forrest Stanley, Edith Shayne
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Fonda ... Gloria
Michael Sarrazin ... Robert
Susannah York ... Alice
Gig Young ... Rocky
Red Buttons ... Sailor
Bonnie Bedelia ... Ruby
Michael Conrad ... Rollo
Bruce Dern ... James
Al Lewis ... Turkey
Robert Fields Robert Fields ... Joel
Severn Darden ... Cecil
Allyn Ann McLerie ... Shirl
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Laydon
Jacquelyn Hyde ... Jackie
Felice Orlandi ... Mario
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 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1970 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? See more »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$12,600,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(original) | (current)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Barbara Parkins was offered, but turned down, a role in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Sailor (Red Buttons) is passed out, two referees take his pants off him to dunk him into a tub of ice water; Buttons lifts up his hips so they can easily remove his pants. 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

Referenced in Happy Days: They Shoot Fonzies, Don't They? (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

I Found a Million Dollar Baby (in a Five and Ten Cent Store)
(1931) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played at the Dance Marathon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Fascinating but tragic movie about desperate people dancing at a competitive contest during the Depression Era
28 March 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

1932 , Great Depression . A group of hopeless and unfortunate people participate at a dance marathon contest on the Santa Monica Pier in California . Among them is the disillusioned and frustrated Gloria (Jane Fonda , formerly Julie Christie and Barbra Streisand turned down this character) . While recovering from a suicide attempt, she gets the idea from a movie magazine to head for Hollywood to make it as a player and subsequently to take part at the marathon . Later on , Robert (Michael Sarrazin) is suddenly involved into the dance marathon , but never doubting he'll make it . Robert and Gloria meet and decide to enter the dance marathon , one of the crazes of the 1930's. Reckless contestants enter a dance marathon in the hopes of winning a cash price , not realizing that they will be driven to exhaustion . How long will they last ? . 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 and all the while acting cruelly and bitterly . People are the ultimate spectacle . After all, they shoot horses, don't they?

Sydney Pollack's rendition of Horace McCoy's prestigious novel about the competitive dance marathon of the Depression Era , including overblown and and impressive interpretations . We are given a depressing view of ruthless humanity , but it results to be riveting . This a thought-provoking , brooding and powerful period piece depicting the tumultuous lives of a misfit group of contestants , dealing with the desperation of the Depression years , while the dancers intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon , adding some frightening and frantically derby sequences , in which participants donning roller skates . The implication around the competitors' situation turns out to be a motley microcosm of a wider-reaching American malaise . Although being rather pretentious and safely distanced by the Depression period and the continuous flashback and flash-forward narrative . Settings are pretty well designed to show the environment and period piece , though it seems to be some claustrophobic , at times . And decent language written by the notorious screenwriter James Poe attempting to capture the intricate sense of the original dialogue written by Horace McCoy . Jane Fonda gives a good acting as the bitter Gloria , a young woman of the Depression who has aged beyond her years and feels her life is hopeless , having been cheated and betrayed many times in her past , alienating those around her, trying to convince to shoot and put out of her misery. Acceptable Michael Sararrazin as a desperate Hollywood citizen attempting to be a director and he suddenly becomes involved in a grueling dancing . Jane Fonda was the main favorite to win the Best Actress Oscar for her acting in this film, so it came as a surprise when she lost to Maggie Smith for The prime of Miss Brodie (1969) . Exceptional , though strident acting from Gig Young who got his Academy Award for performing the promotor of this thirties dance marathon . Support cast is frankly extraordinary , such as : Susannah York , Red Buttons , Bonnie Bedelia , Michael Conrad , Bruce Dern , Art Metrano , Severn Darden , Jacquelyn Hyde , Madge Kennedy , Al Lewis and many others . It was enthusiastically received when first realesed and had a string of Academy Award nominations , several of them for its performances . This is a multi-awarded movie for its cast , and sensational costumes , production design , musical score by Johnny Green and photography by Philip H. Lathrop .

The motion picture well produced by two great producers : Irwin Winkler/Robert Chartoff from Rocky saga , and was competently directed by Sydney Pollack , though using a peculiar narration , plenty of flash-back and forth images . The film had a great number of prizes and nominations , such as : Oscar 69 : support cast , actor Gig Young , though it holds the record for the movie with the most Academy Award nominations without a nomination for Best Picture: Nine ; Golden Globes : support actor Gig Young ; N.Y Film Critics : Actress : Jane Fonda ; British Academy Support actress : Susannah York . Sydney Pollack was a magnificent director , producer and secondary actor with several hits on all kind of genres , such as : ¨This property is condemned¨, ¨The way we were¨, ¨Absence of malice¨, ¨ 3 days of the Condor¨, ¨The scalphunters¨, ¨Jeremiah Johnson¨, ¨Bobby Deerfield¨, ¨The electric horsememan¨, ¨The firm¨ , ¨Out of Africa¨ , ¨Tootsie¨, ¨Yakuza¨ , ¨Sabrina¨, ¨Havana¨, ¨Random hearts¨, and his last movie , the documentary : ¨Sketches of Frank Gehry¨, among others . The flick will appeal to Jane Fonda fans and drama enthusiasts.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 107 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed