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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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They Shoot Horses, Don't They
Rated
Horace McCoy's crisp, brutal novel of degradation, despair and death at a '30s dance marathon; a minor classic of hard-boiled "pulp" existentialism. Sydney Pollack's movie is more lush; you tend to luxuriate in the poetic sleaze of the oceanside dance-hall and its doomed contestants. Michael Sarrazin is an unfortunate choice for Robert Stevenson, looking too dreamy and weak. But beyond that the film is a power-house. As Gloria - tense, embittered, suicidal - Jane Fonda gives what is still her greatest performance.
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