Sunday, May 23, 2010

Best Actress 1969: Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses Don't They ?



Jane Fonda received her first Oscar nomination for playing Gloria Beatty in They Shoot Horses Don't They? Gloria is a bitter woman who ran away from her home in Kansas in the Great Depression and decides to join a dance marathon. She is partnered with Robert Syverton (Michael Sarrazin), and they are both competing for a $1500 prize. But the marathon is a torturous experience and the people who run it are determined to keep the show on, even if that means lying about the contestant's conditions and making them suffer.

Jane Fonda blew me away in Klute and she gives another amazing performance here. She shows Gloria's bitterness and toughness and it all works. We see her determination to win , and her refusal to lose. Fonda and Sarrazin work brilliantly together, showing that all they have is each other. Fonda subtly shows Gloria's realization that they are just being used for profit and her scenes at the end are a marvel to behold, as we see Gloria's world crumbling around her. A triumphant feat which gets

11 comments:

Sage Slowdive said...

Great rating for her.

joe burns said...

Thanks! What did you think if Young and Sarrazin?

Louis Morgan said...

She was very good, although I found the film had its problems.

joe burns said...

What problems did you think it had? And what did you think of Young, York, and Sarrazin?

Louis Morgan said...

I thought it got bit repetitive, even if that was partially the point. I thought the ending was a little too much, and not too effective. Young was deserving, York was good, but Sarrazin I felt played it a little too dully.

joe burns said...

I thought they used the horse metaphor a little too much at the end, but I thought it was a great film apart from that. I liked Young too, I thought York was great, and I think Sarrazin didn't do much with the character as much as he should have.

Sage Slowdive said...

I thought the film was a bit boring.

Gig Young is probably a 4 1/2 for me. My vote goes to Jack Nicholson.

joe burns said...

I can tell you that I loved York! I can't wait to see your thoughts when you Best Supporting Actress 69, a long time from now........

Sage Slowdive said...

69 was definitely a strong year for both actress categories.

Fritz said...

It's been a while since I saw her but this may be my favorite Jane-Fonda-performance.

joe burns said...

I thought you didn't like her in this, but I'm glad you do!