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They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

They Shoot Horses, Don't They? is a 1969 American psychological tragedy film directed by Sydney Pollack, and starring Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Red Buttons, Bruce Dern, Bonnie Bedelia, and Gig Young. Based on Horace McCoy's 1935 novel of the same name, the film focuses on a disparate group of individuals desperate to win a Depression-era dance marathon and an opportunistic emcee who urges them on.

Plot

Robert Syverton, who had once dreamed of becoming a great film director, recalls the events leading to an unstated crime. In his youth, he saw a horse break its leg, after which it was shot and put out of its misery. Years later, in 1932 during the Great Depression, he wanders into a dance marathon about to begin in the shabby La Monica Ballroom, perched over the Pacific Ocean on the Santa Monica Pier in Southern California. Robert soon finds himself recruited by Rocky, the contest's promoter and emcee, as a substitute partner for a cynical malcontent named Gloria Beatty, after her original partner is disqualified due to bronchitis.

Awards

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    author
    award Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture National Board of Review Award for Best Film National Board of Review: Top Ten Films
    contentLocation California
    director Sydney Pollack
    editor Fredric Steinkamp
    genre drama
    keywords aspiring actor bronchitis dance hall dance marathon farm worker film director great depression heart attack impoverish kill london myocardial infarction nervous breakdown nothing pacific ocean pack pregnant wife prize money publicity stunt retire santa monica pier southern california suffer wealthy woman
    musicBy Johnny Green
    nomination Academy Award for Best Actress Academy Award for Best Costume Design Academy Award for Best Director Academy Award for Best Film Editing Academy Award for Best Original Musical Score Academy Award for Best Production Design Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role BAFTA Award for Best Editing BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Feature Film Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Golden Globe Award for Best Director Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
    producer Irwin Winkler Robert Chartoff
    productionCompany ABC Pictures
    publisher Cinerama Releasing Corporation
    recordedAt Santa Monica
    theme dance death independent neo-noir psychological drama