They Shoot Horses, Don't They?
United States United States
James Poe, Robert E. Thompson (Novel: Horace McCoy)
Philip H. Lathrop
Jane Fonda, Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Red Buttons, Gig Young, Michael Conrad, Bonnie Bedelia, Bruce Dern
Palomar Pictures Corporation / ABC
Drama | 1930s. The Great Depression. Dancing
Synopsis / Plot
In the dark years of the 1930s, dance marathons became popular as a way for desperate people to compete for prize money. Sometimes the events would drag on for weeks as contestants pushed themselves far beyond the point of physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, the dancers shambling around the floor in a half-dead stupor. People would then pay to sit in the bleachers, watch the event, and cheer on their favorites. They Shoot Horses is taken from hard-boiled pulp writer Horace McCoy's novel of the same name; Jane Fonda plays a bitter young woman paired up with Michael Sarrazin for the ordeal. Gig Young portrays the unctuous MC of the event, bringing equal parts compassion and sleaze to his role.