'They Shoot Horses, Don't They?' 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 of compassion and sleaze to his role. Many of the film's images are unforgettable, such as "the derby," a heel-and-toe race around the dance floor with bouncy, lighthearted music to accompany the miserable spectacle. It's a powerful, tragic period piece that reminds us of the privations of the Great Depression.
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