They Shoot Horses, Don't They?


Release Date: December 10, 1969

Status: Released

Running time: 2h

Content Rating: PG

Filming Locations: Santa Monica, United States of America

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In the midst of the Great Depression, manipulative emcee Rocky enlists contestants for a dance marathon offering a $1,500 cash prize. Among them are a failed actress, a middle-aged sailor, a delusional blonde and a pregnant girl.

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

The film was released theatrically in the United States on December 10, 1969, and also premiered at the 1970 Cannes Film Festival. The film became a critical and commercial success, grossing $12.6 million on a budget of $4.86 million, becoming the seventeenth highest-grossing film of 1969. Reviewers praised its direction, screenplay, depiction of the depression era, and performances (especially of Fonda, York and Young). It received nine nominations at the 42nd Academy Awards including; Best Director, Best Actress (for Fonda), Best Supporting Actress (for York), Best Adapted Screenplay, with Young winning for Best Supporting Actor. As of 2023, it holds the record for most Oscar nominations without one for Best Picture.

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