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

M/PG   |    |  Drama


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

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


7.9/10
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  • Susannah York in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Jane Fonda and Michael Sarrazin in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Jane Fonda and Sydney Pollack in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Susannah York and Gig Young in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Jane Fonda and Sydney Pollack in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Sydney Pollack in They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)

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19 December 2002 | Joewadesmith
9
| Dance Marathon Macabre
Viewing "They Shoot Horses, Don't They" is like rubbernecking a horrific traffic accident, or watching a train wreck. The images, no matter how painful, are too disturbing to turn away. This movie documents the depression era pathos by showing us a glimse of a group of dance-marathon contestants battling it out for a winner-take-all purse. Their lives become symbolic of their efforts in the marathon: inexorable pain, constant cramping, and a constant questioning of just "why live in all this misery?" Eventually, the lead performances, especially those of Susanna York and Jane Fonda, show at once characters strong-willed but overcome by simple animal survival. The rest of the stellar cast captures this bleakness as well (watch a young Bonnie Bedelia sing for thrown pennies!!!). Eventually the movie painfully climaxes to let one realize the issues raised by the movie title. The film is stunning in capturing the simple struggle of humanity; it's a must-see, but only once!!!

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