Desperate times call for desperate movies. In the midst of the Great Depression, manipulative emcee Rocky (Gig Young) enlists contestants for a dance marathon offering a $1,500 cash prize to the last couple standing.
Among them are a failed actress (Jane Fonda), a middle-aged sailor (Red Beuttons), a delusional blonde (Susannah York) and a pregnant girl (Bonnie Bedelia). Days turn into weeks as the competition drags on and people either drop out or expire. Rocky, however, will do anything for publicity and initiates a series of grueling derbies.
Based on a novel by Horace McCoy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? reveals our collective fascination with human struggle put on display and the demoralizing illusion of Hollywood’s dream factory. Directed by Sydney Pollock, this psychological drama was applauded for its portrayal of the Depression area when it was released with Roger Ebert naming it as one of the best movies of the 1970s.
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? “holds our attention because it tells us something we didn’t know about human nature and American society” – Roger Ebert. As of 2023, the film holds the record for obtaining the most Oscar nominations without receiving one for Best Picture.
Doors: 18:30. Screening: 19:00