Oscar Movies: They Shoot Horses, Don't They (1969)

: 9

Director: Sydney Pollack
Screenplay (Adapted): James Poe and Robert E. Thompson
Actress: Jane Fonda
Supporting Actor: Gig Young
Supporting Actress: Susannah York
Score of a Musical Film (Original or Adapted): John Green and Albert Woodbury
Art Direction-Set Decoration: Harry Horner; Frank McKelvy
Film Editing: Fredric Steinkamp
Costume Design: Donfeld
Sound: Shepperton Studio

Oscar Awards: 1

Supporting Actor

Oscar Context

Next to “Anne of the Thousand Days,” which received 10 nominations (but won only one), “They Shoot Horses” received the largest number of nods, 9, though it didn't make the top list of five nominees. It's likely to assume that Costa-Gavras' political thriller “Z” took the spot of Sydney Pollack's picture.

The other three nominees for Best Picture were: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” co-starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, which received 7 nominations, winning 4; the Gene Kelly mediocre musical, “Hello, Dolly!” with 7 nominations and 3 Oscars; and the film that deservedly won Best Picture, John Schlesinger's “Midnight Cowboy.”

Jane Fonda, who gave her strongest performance to date, would win the Oscar 2 years later, for “Klute,” in which she also played an aspiring actress who makes a living as an upscale hooker. This movie followed the camp cult feature, “Barbarella,” directed by the then husband Roger Vadim, with Jane Fonda as a sex kitten.

Gig Young won the Supporting Oscar at his third nomination. He was previously recognized by the Academy for the drama “Come Fill the Cup” in 1951 and for the comedy “Teacher's Pet” in 1958.

British actress Susannah York lost the Supporting Oscar to Goldie Hawn in the comedy “Cactus Flower.” This is York's only Oscar nomination, though she was wonderful in the ensemble driven “Tom Jones,” which won Best Picture in 1963.

Functioning as both producer and director, Sydney Pollack benefited from the Oscar nomination, which placed him at the forefront of mainstream American filmmakers; he would win the Director Oscar in 1985 for “Out of Africa.”