They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?


(out of 5)

A roaring-twenties dance marathon represents a microcosm of society in this devastating melodrama, where a group of desperate people take to the dance floor in order to achieve their American dream. , in the role that broke her through her sex-kitten image and established her as a serious actress, plays a contestant in the cutthroat competition who, like her fellow participants, wants the reward money so bad she’s willing to do anything to get it. The heartbreaks and fears, the elation and hope of all the possible winners are examined thoroughly in this early example of excellent filmmaking from director Sydney Pollack. Featuring superb supporting performances by the entire cast, especially  as the heartless competition host, this is one film you won’t soon forget.


USA, 1969

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Cast Tags:  

Academy Award
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Gig Young as “Rocky”)

Best Actress (Jane Fonda as “Gloria Beatty”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Susannah York as “Alice”)
Best Art Direction (art direction: Harry Horner; set decoration: Frank McKelvy)
Best Costume Design (Donfeld)
Best Directing (Sydney Pollack)
Best Film Editing (Fredric Steinkamp)
Best Music (Score of a Musical Picture–original or adaptation) (adaptation score by John Green, Albert Woodbury)
Best Writing (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) (James Poe, Robert E. Thompson)

Golden Globe Award
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Gig Young)

Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Jane Fonda)
Best Motion Picture-Drama
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Red Buttons)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Susannah York)
Best Director (Sydney Pollack)

New York Film Critics Award
Best Actress (Jane Fonda)

Best Supporting Actor (Gig Young)

National Society of Film Critics Award Nomination
Best Actress (Jane Fonda)

National Board Of Review Awards
Best Film
Top Ten Films

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium

Directors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures (Sydney Pollack)

British Academy Award
Best Supporting Actress (Susannah York)

Best Actress (Jane Fonda)
Best Supporting Actor (Gig Young)
Best Screenplay
Best Film Editing
Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles (Michael Sarrazin)



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