It took over thirty years to bring Horace McCoy's allegorical character study, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? to the big screen. Charlie Chaplin originally optioned the rights years before producers Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler, scripters James Poe and Robert E. Thompson, and director Sydney Pollack collaborated on the film version of McCoy's 1935 novel that chronicled his stint as a bouncer at a marathon dance contest. Set in Harry Horner and Frank McKelvey's brilliantly designed replica of the old Aragon Ballroom, the story follows the fortunes of various down-on-their-luck characters as they dream, scheme, gamble, and literally try to outlast each other over a grueling two-month-long dance marathon in pursuit of the grand prize of $1500. (It makes television's Survivor look like a backyard camp-out.) Pollack reportedly filmed primarily in sequence. The remarkable cast includes Jane Fonda, Gig Young (who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar® for his role), Michael Sarrazin, Susannah York, Bonnie Bedelia, Red Buttons and Bruce Dern. From Philip Lathrop's cinematography and Donfeld's costumes to John Green and Albert Woodbury's scoring and Fredric Steinkamp's editing, the film is a magnificent technical achievement. Pollack brings it all together to realize an unforgettable physical and psychic universe. Print from Buena Vista Pictures.
About the Director(s)Collapse
Sydney Pollack's (director, executive producer) 19 films have received 46 Academy Award® nominations including three for Pollack for Best Director, and two for Best Picture. His film Out of Africa won seven Oscars®, including Best Picture and Best Director for Pollack. Pollack's films include Random Hearts, Sabrina, The Firm, Out of Africa, Tootsie, Absence of Malice, The Electric Horseman, Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, and Jeremiah Johnson. Pollack won the New York Film Critics' Award for his 1982 film Tootsie and the David di Donatello Award for Three Days of the Condor. He also won the Golden Globe for Best Director twice, the National Society of Film Critics' Award, the NATO Director of the Year Award and prizes from the Brussels, Belgrade, San Sebastian, Moscow, and Taormina Film Festivals. He served as President of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and was honored by the French Government with the Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres. His latest feature, The Interpreter, is the Opening Night Premiere at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival.