Saturday, August 16, 2008

They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

I recently watched the acclaimed film by Sydney Pollack, They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Forever I thought this film was a Western until just recently, and when I started watching this film about a depression era multi-week dance off, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
This movie is incredible in many ways, from the writing, to the acting, the costumes, and many of it's creative scenes...yet I had no idea what a heavy picture this was, honestly, like I said, I knew nothing about it.
I had a variety of thoughts watching this film, just as I'm sure the screenwriters and directors expected, but it's interesting to watch this film almost 40 years later when so many of the challenging topics and ideas are still a part of our society.
For me, one of the most interesting themes was the idea of media. Gig Young is perfect in his Oscar winning role of Rocky the dance marathon coordinator. His character is so interesting, because he wants to tell the marathon's story in a way that will get a buck and make him some money.

Almost any scene he's in, especially when he explains his thought process on the dress incident to Robert (Robert Syverton), the prize money with Jane Fonda's character Gloria, the way he handles the two instances of contestants have mental delusions, or the way he handles the Sailor (Red Button) incident.
This is a wonderful movie, and I'd highly recommend it. I feel like it's so unique and tells a story that's captivating, meaningful, and is far different from anything I've seen in a long while.


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the film, though now I really want to. I have this love/hate relationship with Sydney Pollack films (The Way We Were and Out of Africa bored me to tears, but I love Tootsie). One thing that should've given yo a clue that this film was about a dance marathon, remember that Gilmore Girls episode about the 4-hour dance marathon (that ends with Rory and Dean breaking up for the second time)? That episode is titled "They Shoot Gilmores, Don't They?" as a reference to this film. Just a little fun fact I thought you ought to know (I've read your guilty love confessions toward that show, so I thought you would want to know that). I'll be looking for this one.

RC said...

@ anon, i actually thought of that gilmore episode a number of times. I didn't know that was the title of the episode though. that's a fun factoid for sure.

Terence Towles Canote said...

It is a great film. And captures the era of the dance-a-thons perfectly.

Glenn Dunks said...

Brilliant movie. One that I have no qualms about calling a masterpiece. Stunning.

Lisa Brawner said...

nice blog. I have enjoyed reading it this morning.