×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Horace McCoy's 1935 grimy novel of a depression era dance marathon, which sold a forgettable 3,000 copies as a book, is a film with Jane Fonda as a hard-as-nails babe. It becomes, in a recreated old ballroom, a sordid spectacle of hard times, a kind of existentialist allegory of life.

With:
Jane Fonda Michael Sarrazin Susannah York Gig Young Red Buttons Bonnie Bedelia

Horace McCoy’s 1935 grimy novel of a depression era dance marathon, which sold a forgettable 3,000 copies as a book, is a film with Jane Fonda as a hard-as-nails babe. It becomes, in a recreated old ballroom, a sordid spectacle of hard times, a kind of existentialist allegory of life.

Gig Young is the promoter-emcee, the barker for a cheap sideshow attraction with an endless patter of cliches on pluck, luck, courage, true grit, and the American Way. Puffy-eyed, unshaven, reeking of stale liquor, sweat and cigarets, Young has never looked older or acted better.

Fonda, as the unremittingly cynical loser, the tough and bruised babe of the Dust Bowl, gives a dramatic performance that gives the film a personal focus and an emotionally gripping power.

Pollack turns the marathon into a vulgar, sleazy, black microcosm of life in 1932.

1969: Best Supp. Actor (Gig Young).

Nominations: Best Actress (Jane Fonda), Supp. Actress (Susannah York), Screenplay Adaptation, Costume Design, Art Direction, Editing, Adapted Music Score

Popular on Variety

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Production: Palomar/ABC. Director Sydney Pollack; Producer Irwin Winkler, Robert Chartoff; Screenplay James Poe, Robert E. Thompson; Camera Philip H. Lathrop; Editor Fredric Steinkamp; Music John Green; Art Director Harry Horner

Crew: (Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 129 MIN.

With: Jane Fonda Michael Sarrazin Susannah York Gig Young Red Buttons Bonnie Bedelia

More Film

  • THE-CURSE-OF-THE-HANDSOME-MAN-photo2

    Filmax Acquires International on ‘The Curse of the Handsome Man’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Barcelona-based boutique studio Filmax has acquired international rights to Argentine producer-director Beda Docampo’s “The Curse of the Handsome Man,” produced by Ibón Cormenzana’s Arcadia Motion Pictures alongside Cados Producciones and Damned Besso –based in Spain—in co-production with Cecilia Díez’s Zarlek Producciones (“Medianeras”) in Argentina. The film is backed by Spanish public broadcaster [...]

  • La-mala-familia

    Javi Tasio Talks ECAM Incubator Title ‘La Mala Familia’

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Via their BRBR collective, filmmakers Nacho A. Villar and Luis Rojo have directed award winning music videos, and commercias. Now they’ll make the leap to features with “La Mala Familia,” a gritty urban drama set in the outskirts of Madrid. Variety spoke with the film’s producer, Javi Tasio, who developed this project at ECAM’s [...]

  • Submerged

    Outsider Takes World Sales on ‘Submerged’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures has acquired world sales rights to“Submergible” (Submerged) a narco capsule-sub-set drama thriller from Ecuador’s Alfredo León León who debuted with an original prisoner-of-war drama, “Open Wound.” Written by Daniela Granja Nuñez and Alfredo León León, “Submerged” is produced out of Ecuador by León León’s Boom en Cuadro and [...]

  • Charlie-Chaplin-and-Horse-Roy-Export-Co

    Carmen Chaplin to Direct ‘Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Director-producer-actress Carmen Chaplin is set to direct “Charlie Chaplin, a Man of the World,” a theatrical documentary feature which will add a hardly-explored new facet to the creator of the Tramp, one of the most iconic cinema characters in popular consciousness, plumbing Chaplin’s Romani roots and heritage. Marking the first time that [...]

  • Incitement

    'Incitement' Wins Ophir Award for Best Picture, Becomes Israel's Oscar Submission

    “Incitement” was the best-picture winner at Israel’s Ophir Awards on Sunday night, automatically becoming the country’s choice to vie for the international feature film Oscar. The winning film, a drama about the period leading up to the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist in 1995, had its global premiere at [...]

  • LargoAI

    LargoAI Wins Inaugural San Sebastian Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge

    SAN SEBASTIAN  —  Swiss artificial intelligence and data analytics company LargoAI won Sunday’s first-ever San Sebastian Film Festival Zinemaldia & Technology Startup Challenge. LargoAI’s software provides data-driven filmmaking strategies, similar to those used by major VOD platforms which aggregate and often horde their own user-driven data. From early in the screenwriting process through development and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content