Set in California during The Great Depression of the 1930's - "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" is all about the wretchedness, and all the utter hopelessness of an era of impoverishment like none other in American history.
Here the viewer is witness to every despairing detail of destitution. All so graphically depicted. All so clearly unfolded through the sad experiences of a pitiful collection of marathon dancers, each one at the utter brink of desperation.
This is a dance marathon to beat all other dance marathons. To date it has been running now, non-stop, for 2 months, solid. It's guaranteed to be a real record-breaker.
And, the one, final couple that remains on their feet to the bitter end, out-dancing all others, will be crowned the winners, receiving as their hard-earned reward a grand prize of $1,500. Not much money by today's standards, but, for the many who were absolutely poverty-stricken during The Depression, it represented a literal fortune.
Yep. That's what "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" is all about.
My rating to view this movie comes from Gig Young's character "Rocky" shouting "Yowza, Yowza, Yowza!"
One of the bleakest movies ever. I love it.
Masterful! Brilliant acting and brilliant directing. The movie envelops you into the atmosphere of the excruciatingly painful dance marathons of the Great Depression, and brings you close to the desperate young men and women who are willing to endure this pain in order to possibly win some money. This is one of the great movie experiences of all time.
There's a lot about this movie that I adore. The problem (& it's a big one, though I don't know if it's the same in the novel) is that a man goes to prison for murder because a woman couldn't bring herself to commit suicide. She asks him to pull the trigger instead. I get that it's supposed to be powerful drama, &, otherwise, it really is, but that's just too damn misandric. They should've had him escape.
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